One of the great avant-garde figures of the early 20th century, El Lissitzky was Russia's most important artist-designer to influence Modernism. A Constructivist artist seeking to create an art of order, he devised a series of compositions of geometric forms which he used in his ground-breaking graphic design and typography. The Powerhouse Museum holds two examples of his work - a rare stoneware ceramic plate designed while Lissitsky lived in Germany around 1923 (2003/137/1) and made in Germany in the 1930s and this journal, 'Wendingen', issue 11/1921 published in Holland. 'Wendingen' (1918-1931) was the periodical of the Amsterdam School, a group of Expressionist artists and craftsworkers active mainly in Amsterdam 1915-c1930. This issue devoted to Frank L Wright with the lithograph cover designed by El Lissitzky was designed by H. T. Wijdeveld (1885-1989), a Dutch architect, writer, furniture designer, typographer and teacher.
El Lissitzky (born Lazar M Lissitzky, Smolensk province 1890: died Moscow 1941) was a Jewish Russian architect, designer, draughtsman, illustrator, painter, photographer, printmaker, teacher and theorist.
He was extremely innovative in his use of photography, experimenting with 'cameraless images' (photograms), superimposition, photomontage and photocollage contributing his knowledge of engineering, architectural and graphic skills to his work - including axiometric drawing, which he used in a deliberately contradictory and inconsistent way to imply construction within the floating pictorial space that the Russian Suprematist Malevich had evolved. Through the teachings of Moholy-Nagy, Lissitzky exercised a radical influence at the Bauhaus. His architectural ideas were published in "Russland: Die Rekonstruktion der Architektur in der Sowjetunion' in 1930. Most significantly, his work provided no clear frontier between art and design.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator 1997