For the Voice, a collection of poems by Vladimir Maiakovski
The book presented combinations of layouts and a narrative structure that at the time was totally
opposing artistic paths
Lissitzky subscribed fully to suprematism and helped further develop the movement
After going through impressionism, primitivism, and cubism, Malevich began developing and advocating his ideas on suprematism aggressively.
In development since 1915, suprematism rejected the imitation of natural shapes and focused more on the creation of distinct, geometric forms. He replaced the classic teaching program with his own and disseminated his suprematist theories and techniques school-wide.
Chagall advocated more classical ideals and Lissitzky, still loyal to Chagall, became torn between two opposing artistic paths. Lissitzky ultimately favoured Malevich’s suprematism and broke away from traditional Jewish art. Chagall left the school shortly thereafter.
In 1919−1920 Lissitzky was a head of Architectural department at the People’s Art School where with his students, primarily Lazar Khidekel, he was working on transition from plane to volumetric suprematism.
The artist constructs
a new symbol with his
Book cover Arba'ah Teyashim
Perhaps the most famous work by Lissitzky from the same period was the 1919 propaganda poster "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge".
Russia was going through a civil war at the time, which was mainly fought between the "Reds" (communists, socialists and revolutionaries) and the "Whites" (monarchists, conservatives, liberals and other socialists who opposed the Bolshevik Revolution).
The image of the red wedge shattering the white form, simple as it was, communicated a powerful message that left no doubt in the viewer’s mind of its intention.
The piece is often seen as alluding to the similar shapes used on military maps and, along with its political symbolism, was one of Lissitzky’s first major steps away from Malevich’s non-objective suprematism into a style his own.
It was one of Lissitzky’s first major steps away from Malevich’s non-objective suprematism into a style his own.
He stated: "The artist constructs a new symbol with his brush. This symbol is not a recognizable form of anything that is already finished, already made, or already existent in the world – it is a symbol of a new world, which is being built upon and which exists by the way of the people."