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 El Lissitzky (Lazar Markovich Lisitskii)

*1890 (Lazar Markovich Lisitskii) in Vitebsk (BY);1909-14 studied architecture at the Polytechnic School in Darmstadt; afterwards went to Moscow where he began to work as an architect; 1919 appointed professor of architecture and applied art at the art school in Vitebsk; 1921 professor at the Moscow Art Academy; 1921 went to Berlin to establish contacts between artists in the USSR and Germany; during the mid-1920s, Lissitzky stopped painting in order to concentrate on the design of typography and exhibitions; died in 1941 in Schodnia (GUS). Trained first as an engineer, then as an architect, El Lissitzky exercised a crucial influence on the course of the visual arts, especially the applied arts, not only in his native Russia, but also throughout Western Europe. As Professor of Architecture and the Graphic Arts at the Vitebsk School of Art (of which Chagall was Director) he described his own work as ‘the interchange station between art and architecture’ and created a synthesis between the constructivist movement and the refined version of cubism that became known as suprematism. His creativity was prodigious. In painting, book illustration, typography, theatre and exhibition design, photography and architecture his influence persists to this day.