Wikipedia entry
Lazar Markovich Lissitzky (Russian: Ла́зарь Ма́ркович Лиси́цкий, ; 23 November [O.S. 11 November] 1890 – 30 December 1941), better known as El Lissitzky (Russian: Эль Лиси́цкий; Yiddish: על ליסיצקי), was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avant-garde, helping develop suprematism with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designing numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works for the Soviet Union. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th-century graphic design. Lissitzky's entire career was laced with the belief that the artist could be an agent for change, later summarized with his edict, "das zielbewußte Schaffen" (goal-oriented creation). Lissitzky, of Lithuanian Jewish оrigin, began his career illustrating Yiddish children's books in an effort to promote Jewish culture in Russia. When only 15 he started teaching, a duty he would maintain for most of his life. Over the years, he taught in a variety of positions, schools, and artistic media, spreading and exchanging ideas. He took this ethic with him when he worked with Malevich in heading the suprematist art group UNOVIS, when he developed a variant suprematist series of his own, Proun, and further still in 1921, when he took up a job as the Russian cultural ambassador to Weimar Germany, working with and influencing important figures of the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements during his stay. In his remaining years he brought significant innovation and change to typography, exhibition design, photomontage, and book design, producing critically respected works and winning international acclaim for his exhibition design. This continued until his deathbed, where in 1941 he produced one of his last works – a Soviet propaganda poster rallying the people to construct more tanks for the fight against Nazi Germany. In 2014, the heirs of the artist, in collaboration with Van Abbemuseum and leading worldwide scholars on the subject, established the Lissitzky Foundation in order to preserve the artist's legacy and to prepare a catalogue raisonné of the artist's oeuvre.
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Getty record
From 1909-1914, Lissitzky attended the Technical High School in Darmstadt, Germany, after which he returned to Moscow. In 1917, he qualified as an architect in that city and two years later, he taught at the Fine Arts Academy in Witebsk, later moving to the Fine Arts Academy in Moscow in 1921. In 1922, Lissitzky worked out of Berlin where he made contact with Bauhaus artists. Here, he first experimented with photography, creating posters and book covers. From 1922 to 1924 Lissitzky worked in Hanover, Germany and began producing photograms, becoming the first artist to use photograms for publicity purposes. Along with Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy, Lissitsky one of those who refined the use of the photogram. Lissitzky moved to Switzerland in 1924 to receive treatment for tuberculosis. One year later he returned to Moscow and was named a professor at the School of Interior Architecture and continued to produce photographic experiments and collages. From 1932 to 1940, Lissitzky worked for the magazine "USSR in Construction". He worked in a freelance capacity for the magazine which worked to promote the idea of Soviet industrialization.
Russian, Soviet
Artist, Architect, Manufacturer, Publicist, Teacher, Designer, Art Theorist, Typographer, Furniture Designer, Lithographer, Graphic Artist, Illustrator, Lecturer, Painter, Photographer, Sculptor, Theorist
El Lissitzky, El Lazar Lissitzky, El' Lisickij, Eliezer Lisitski, Lazar Markovich Lisi︡tskiĭ, Lazar Markovich Lisitskii, Lazar Markovich Lisitsky, El Lissickij, E. M. Lissitsky, El Lissitsky, Eliezer Lissitsky, Eleazar M. Lissitzky, Eleazar Markovich Lissitzky, Eliezer Lissitzky, Lasar Lissitzky, Lasar Markowitsch Lissitzky, Lazar Lissitzky, Lazar Markovich Lissitzky, Lazar Moiseevich Lissitsky, El Lisitsky, Eliezer Lisitsky, Eliezer Markovich Lissitzky, El' Lisitsky Lissitzky, Lazar' Lisitsky Lissitzky, Lazar' Markovich Lisitsky Lissitzky, El' Lisitsky Lissitsky, Lazar' Lisitsky Lissitsky, Lazar' Markovich Lisitsky Lissitsky, Eliʻezer Lisitsḳi, Ėlʹ Lisit︠s︡kiĭ, Lazarʹ Markovich Lisit︠s︡kiĭ, E. Lisitsḳi, Lazarʼ Markovič Lisickij, El Lisitsḳi, אליעזר ליסיצקי, א. ליסיצקי, ל. ליסיצקי, Lazar Markovich Lisitski, Lazar Markovich Lisitzky, Lissits, Lasar Morduchovich Lissitsky, Эль Lissitzky, Ла́зарь Ма́ркович Лиси́цкий, Lissitzky
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License


135 works online



  • Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 1918–1939. The Merrill C. Berman Collection at MoMA Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 288 pages
  • MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art Flexibound, 408 pages
  • MoMA Now: Highlights from The Museum of Modern Art—Ninetieth Anniversary Edition Hardcover, 424 pages
  • Photography at MoMA: 1920 to 1960 Hardcover, 416 pages
  • OBJECT:PHOTO. Modern Photographs: The Thomas Walther Collection 1909-1949 Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 400 pages
  • Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 376 pages

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