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John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

Lithuanian, 20th century, male.

Active and naturalised in the USA.

Born 1931, in Kaunas; died 9 April 1978, in New York.

Happenings artist, performance artist, photographer, mixed media. Artists' books.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

George Maciunas was initially an architect and designer, and he opened a gallery in New York....

Article

Man Ray  

American, 20th century, male.

Active also in France from 1921.

Born 27 August 1890 , in Philadelphia; died 18 November 1976 , in Paris.

Painter (mixed media), collage artist, ready-made and assemblage artist, illustrator, photographer (rayograph), filmmaker.

Dadaism, Surrealism.

Société Anonyme, New York Dada.

According to his somewhat fictionalised autobiography, Man Ray began painting at the age of five and entered the Academy of Fine Art in 1897, an astonishing achievement at the age of seven, unless perhaps it was an extracurricular studio for children. His parents wanted him to be an engineer or an architect, and he began studying industrial design and architecture in 1908. He preferred to work in an advertising agency while attending evening classes in drawing at the Ferrer Center. In 1909, he adopted the pseudonym Man Ray. The New York Armory Show in 1913 contributed to his decision to become an artist. That same year he married a Frenchwoman, Adon Lacroix. He is said to have learnt photography in 1914 with the pioneer of modern photography, Alfred Stieglitz, in order to reproduce his own paintings accurately. He then followed the Gallery 291 exhibitions organised by Stieglitz and the activities of the 291 Group and the magazine ...