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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

Marta Gili

(b Valencia, May 17, 1907; d E. Berlin, Oct 11, 1982).

Spanish photomontagist and printmaker, active in Mexico and Germany. He studied painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in Valencia (1919–26), subsequently becoming a graphic designer and photomontagist (1928–39) in Valencia, Madrid, and Barcelona. In his printmaking, which was influenced by John Heartfield and by Socialist Realism, he showed a strong commitment to the Republican cause and a talent for satire, often expressed through the use of colourful popular imagery. When the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 he went into exile in Mexico, where he executed a series of photomontages entitled The American Way of Life (1949–66), in which he denounced American imperialism and capitalism. In 1958 he moved permanently to East Berlin, where he executed the series Fata Morgana U.S.A.

Fata Morgana U.S.A. (1967)The American Way of Life (Barcelona, 1977)Naggar, C. “The Photomontages of Josep Renau.” ...