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Alexander Kantsedikas. El Lissitzky – The Jewish Period (Unicorn, 2017)

El Lissitzky – The Jewish Period. Alexander Kantsedikas (Author). ISBN: 9781910787960. Published: 30 Oct 2017. Publisher: Unicorn. Dimensions: 208 pages – 290 x 240 mm.

Unquestionably one of Russian modernism’s best-known artists, El Lissitzky created artworksin a staggering variety of mediathat have entranced collectors and inspired other artists for decades. The subject of numerous monographs and exhibitions, his mature abstract paintings, drawings, photographs, and graphic work can be found in abundance in public collections worldwide. In this book, however, Alexander Kantsedikas, one of the world’s leading experts on the artist, offers the first extended look at his earlier work, which was  more or less exclusively devoted to Jewish subjects, reflecting his religious education and family’s heritage. While a handful of these works are well known and widely published, this phase of his work will be far less familiar even to an audience well versed in El Lissitzky’s oeuvre. Featuring more than five hundred works, lavishly reproduced in color and black and white, the book tracks his evolution from an expressionist style to one that is increasingly more abstract and nonobjective. It also includes rare photographic material of the artist’s family, as well as little-known correspondence from his father and details about his relationship with his first wife, who has heretofore been entirely obscured in the artist’s biography.