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Article

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

Trevor Fawcett

This article is principally concerned with the mechanical or semi-mechanical reproduction in two dimensions of paintings, sculpture, drawings and the decorative arts in the Western world. See also Book illustration; Copy; Electroplating; Mass production; Periodical §I; Photography §I; and Prints §III.

The validity of reproductions depends on their acceptance as reasonable substitutes for unavailable ‘original’ works of art. (In turn the concept of ‘originals’ presupposes the existence of reproductions and other derivatives.) Unlike the handmade copy or duplicate, reproductions are created in multiple copies, each one theoretically identical, by means of some partly or wholly mechanized process. The closer they resemble their prototype in dimensions, medium, composition, colour and finish, the more they approach the ideal of facsimile. However, the vast majority of reproductions are executed in a medium different from their originals and on a smaller scale, as for example most engravings or photographs after paintings. Until recently, moreover, black-and-white reproductions have far outnumbered those in colour. With works of sculpture and decorative art a further distancing occurs when three-dimensional forms are converted into two-dimensional images. Such flattened versions may nevertheless often be preferred for their cheapness and convenience over solid replicas such as casts and electrotypes....