El Lissitzky ( Russian, 1890 - 1941 )

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General Description

This suite of eight lithographs forms the First Kestner Portfolio, produced in 1923 for the Kestner Society, a progressive art society based in Hanover, Germany. Proun is an acronym for Proekt utverzhdeniia novogo (Project for the Affirmation of the New), a Russian phrase invented by Lissitzky. Much of Lissitzky's work from 1921 to 1923 revolved around the idea of the Proun, which dealt with the transition of a three-dimensional space to a two-dimensional surface and Lissitzky's complex spatial theories. The Proun compositions are architectural drafts in which Lissitzky explores his ideas on building and construction. "Proun begins as a level surface, turns into a model of three-dimensional space, and goes on to construct all the objects of everyday life. In this way Proun goes beyond painting and the artists on the one hand and the machine and the engineer on the other, and advances to the construction of space, divides it by the elements of all dimensions, and creates a new, many-faceted unity as a formal representation of our nature." —El Lissitzky, De Stijl, June 1922