Lissitzky, El (1890–1941) By Vronskaya, Alla G.
The Soviet artist, photographer, designer, and architect Lazar Markovich (Mordukhaevich) Lissitzky grew up in a Jewish family in Smolensk in western Russia. In 1909 Lissitzky moved to Germany, where he studied architectural engineering at Darmstadt Technische Hochschule. While living in Germany, Lissitzky traveled throughout Europe and became connected with the circle of Russian-Jewish painters in Paris. In 1919, after an invitation from Chagall, Lissitzky became the head of the architecture department at the Higher Artistic Workshops in Vitebsk. The school was soon joined by Kazimir Malevich, whose presence stimulated Lissitzky’s growing interest in Suprematism. Lissizky’s only realized architectural project was the printing plant of the journal Ogoniok in Moscow (1930–1932). In 1925, Lissitzky began work as an exhibition designer, which would remain his primary occupation for the rest of his life.