The exhibition "El Lissitzky" is the first widescale retrospective of the artist in Russia and a joint project of the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.
El Lissitzky is one of the leading artists of Russian and European avant-garde. He foreordained the development of architecture and design of the XX century. El Lissitzky is an inventor of a new art movement, that he called "prouns". “Proun” means “proekt utverzdeniya novogo” (design for the confirmation of the new). Lissitzky believed that prouns served as stations where one changes from painting to architecture. The artist used the ideas of prouns in merely every genre he worked in – architecture, design, book design.
The exhibition has two parts and takes place on two venues at the same time – in the New Tretyakov Gallery and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. The visitors will see around 400 artworks from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery, foreign museums, and private collections. The exhibition "El Lissitzky" reconstructs the artist's creative path, paying attention to all its stages and different directions.
The early "pre-avant-garde" Lissitzky's period refers to his activities in the Cultural League (Jewish cultural and public organization). The artworks of this time will be exhibited at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. The exposition of the JMTC has book illustrations, posters, photo collages, photomontages, manuscripts, documentary photographs, and a number of Lisitsky’s “prouns” from the State Tretyakov Gallery and the RGALI. Also there will be a reconstruction of the “Prouns’ Space” – a special place developed by Lisitsky to showcase his works.
The Tretyakov Gallery will expose the prouns and architectural projects, sketches of the exhibition design and photographs from the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.
Picturesque and graphic prouns from the Western collections will be shown for the first time in Russia. The exhibition brings together around 200 works from the Basel Art Museum, the Moritzburg Art Gallery (Halle, Germany), the Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven, Holland), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Pompidou Center (Paris) and the National Museum of Art Of Azerbaijan of R. Mustafayeva.
Two parts of the exhibition will disclose Lissitzky as a multifaceted painter, book graphic artist, designer, architect, printer and photographer.
The exhibition is a joint project of the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.
The project is realized with support of M.S. Gutseriev, the businessman and founder of SAFMAR Charity Fund.
SAFMAR Charity Fund is among the largest noncommercial charity organizations of Russia. The founder of the fund is AO NK RussNeft which is headed by Mikhail Gutseriev, a famous Russian entrepreneur and art patron. SAFMAR Charity Fund is founded to realize socially important long lasting projects in the sphere of culture, art, education and spirituality development. The Fund program corresponds to the criteria of transparence, precision of strategy and consistency of realization. When carrying out its activities the Fund relies on the best traditions of the Russian practices in the sphere of benevolence. The Fund supports several large-scale good-will projects carried out together with many famous educational, scientific, museum and non-governmental organizations of Russia.