Sunday, March 17, 2013


Proun 2 (Construction)
In the climate of utopian expectation immediately following the Russian Revolution, artist El Lissitzky began working on a series of artworks that he entitled Proun -- a series he later described as "the station where one changes from painting to architecture." Lissitzky was committed to the notion that society could be liberated through abstract art. In his Proun series he explored the visual language of suprematism with spatial elements, utilizing shifting axes and multiple perspectives -- in a way creating his own version of the movement. Lissitzky, passionate about architecture and other 3D concepts, attempted to move suprematism away from it's strictly flat, 2D forms and shapes. His Proun series lasted for over half a decade and spanned from traditional, straight-forward paintings and lithographs into fully three dimensional installation works. Lissitzky's Prouns laid the framework for his later architectonic ideas and experiments in exhibition design. The exact meaning of "Proun" was never fully revealed, with some suggesting that it is a contraction of proekt unovisa (designed by UNOVIS) or proekt utverzhdenya novogo (Design for the confirmation of the new). Lissitzky had this to say:
 "…I cannot define absolutely what a ‘Proun’ is, for this work is not yet finished [...]  My aim—and this is not only my aim, this is the meaning of the new art— is not to represent, but to form something independent of any conditioning factor. To this thing I give the independent name Proun. When its life is fulfilled and it lies down gently in the grave of the history of art, only then will this idea be defined."
 Through his Prouns, LIssitzky developed utopian models for a new and better world. This approach, in which the artist creates art with socially defined purpose, could aptly be summarized with his edict "das zielbewuƟte Schaffen" or "task oriented creation."

For more listen to: Stop 412 El Lissitzky - Proun 2 (Construction)


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