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    El Lissitzky

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    (Lazar Lissitzky)
    November 23, 1890 – December 30, 1941

    Avant-garde artist El Lissitzky had a great idea: horizontal skyscrapers. Talk about an oxymoron...

    First, a little about Lazar (El) Lissitzky: he was a pupil and contemporary of Kazimir Malevich. (He of the Black Square. Look it up if you don't know what we're talking about.) Lissitzky actually started out as an illustrator to Yiddish books, but the Russian Revolution hit, and that was that. While not as famed as his mentor, his work in various media and use of color and shape was highly influential in not only the supermatist movement, but all of abstract art. (Look at us, art historians! Mom would be so proud...)

    So: horizontal skyscrapers. Lissitzky, who also dabbed in architecture, thought that man was not designed to go vertically. So he envisioned horizontal buildings, raised on platforms, reaching far and wide, a city above a city, if you will. The idea was largely dismissed, and Lissitzky died in 1941.

    In 2009, on the outskirts of Shanghai, American architect Steven Holl built a horizontal skyscraper. It has been called an architectural marvel.

    Clearly, Lissitzky was ahead of his time. Isn't that what avante-garde art is all about? (We hope you're proud, mom!)

    Verdict: Jew.

    April 30, 2018

    See Also

    Vladimir Baranov-Rossine

    Marc Chagall

    Naum Gabo

    Frank Gehry

    Louis Kahn
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