one of El Lissitzky’s last works
LISSITZKY, EL (Lazar). [Poster.] Nuzhno usilit’ i ukrepit’ internatsional’nye proletarskie sviazi rabochego klassa SSSR a rabochim klassom burzhuaznykh stran [“We Must Reinforce and Consolidate the International Proletarian Links of the Working Class of the USSR with the Working Class of the Bourgeois Countries” – Stalin]
Moscow, Izostat, 20 October 1940
Four-color lithographic poster designed by Lissitzky; 24 x 35 inches. Very good condition, some folds. Archivally framed.
El Lissitzky (1890-1941), one of the most influential avant-garde artists and designers of his time, developed suprematism with his mentor Kazimir Malevich. His work played a key role in shaping the constructivist and Bauhaus movements. After spending the postwar years in Germany, he returned to Moscow in 1925 and began to devote himself to graphic design. Lissitzky became one of the primary designers of an international, multilingual magazine, USSR in Construction, published by the Soviet government as a propaganda vehicle between 1934-1941. The magazine employed a technique of visual rhetoric sharing characteristics of Socialist Realism, a style which Lissitzky was instrumental in creating and for which he was a leading proponent.
This dramatic poster, similar in style to the Socialist Realist graphics found in USSR In Construction, exhorts the people to support MOPL, the International Organization of Helpers of Fighters for the Revolution. The figures represent international workers united with the Soviets in the heroic struggle for the Revolution. The poster was printed during the last year of Lissitzky’s life while he worked for the Soviet state with the sure knowledge that his friends and colleagues were the victims of Stalin’s purges.
Reference: Busch-Reisinger Museum, El Lissitzky, 1890-1941 (1987) 1940/5.