Visu­al Arts

Cha­gall, El Lis­sitzky, Male­vitch: The Russ­ian Avant-garde in Viteb­sk (19181922)

Angela Lampe

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

When Marc Cha­gall took over the Peo­ple’s School of Art in his home­town of Viteb­sk in 1919, he had already estab­lished him­self as an avant-garde artist. For the next few years, Cha­gall estab­lished the once-sleepy Belaru­sian town as a hub of rev­o­lu­tion­ary art mak­ing. Along with Kaz­imir Male­vitch and El Lis­sitzky, Cha­gall presided over a flow­er­ing of cre­ativ­i­ty and artis­tic ener­gy that became a focal point of Russ­ian mod­ernism. This vol­ume fea­tures 250 works and doc­u­men­tary items from Viteb­sk, bring­ing to life a lit­tle-known chap­ter in the his­to­ry of art. Every aspect of this brief but deci­sive peri­od is exam­ined here, from Cha­gal­l’s notion of pro­le­tari­at art to the birth of the UNO­VIS group and its trail­blaz­ing expo­si­tions. Cor­re­spon­dence among Cha­gall, Male­vitch, and Lis­sitzky are fea­tured along­side impor­tant works from all three artists as well as art from their col­leagues and stu­dents. The result is a mul­ti­fac­eted por­trait of a unique col­lab­o­ra­tion that forged a new path for artis­tic expres­sion which extend­ed far beyond the bound­aries of Vitebsk.

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