El Lissitzky: Proun

The ‘way station’ between painting and architecture. 

(Proun 30-T, 1924)

proun-30-t-1920-oil-on-canvas-500-x-620-mm-private-collection-lissitzky-el-1890-1941

 

From “Theses on the PROUN: From painting to architecture” (1920)

1. We have named PROUN a station on the path to the construction of the new form. […] From being a simple depicter the artist becomes a creator (builder) of forms for a new world — the world of objectivity. This does not mean the creation of a rivalry with the engineer. Art has not yet crossed paths with science.

2. PROUN is understood as the creative construction of form (based on the mastery of space) assisted by economic construction of the applied material. The goal of PROUN is progressive movement on the way to concrete creation, and not the substantiation, explanation, or promotion of life.

The path of the PROUN does not lie within the narrowly limited, fragmented, and isolated scientific disciplines — the builder consolidates them all together in his own experimental investigation.

The path of the PROUN is not the incoherent approach of separate scientific disciplines, theories, and systems, but is rather the straightforward path of learned influence over reality. […]

 

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