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New Art for a New World

written by Musuem Tinguely

Hatje Cantz | ISBN 9783775733632

Hardback – 240 pages


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Painter, architect, engineer, set designer, father to the Russian Constructivist movement, inventor of the "counter-relief" and author of one of modernism's greatest icons, the "Monument to the Third International," Vladimir Tatlin blazed an incredible trail of innovation through the glory years of the Soviet avant-garde. Nevertheless, "Not the old, not the new, but the necessary" was his motto; having spent his early years as an icon painter, Tatlin eschewed the modernist disavowal of heritage in favor of a research-based attitude to materials and genres. His "counter-relief" sculptures, made of wood, cardboard, metal and wire, were foundational works for Rodchenko and the Constructivists, and their influence can be seen today in the works of creators as various as Zaha Hadid and Richard Tuttle. But it is his "Monument to the Third International," often called simply "Tatlin's Tower," that has grasped the imaginations of artists, architects and writers down the generations. Though it was never built, "Tatlin's Tower" endures as a promethean image of utopian heroism and Soviet optimism, as does the artist himself, who applied his energies so broadly, without loss of integrity or focus. With 120 color illustrations and a wealth of archival photos, this volume offers the first English-language overview of Tatlin's diverse achievements in more than 25 years. Published for a landmark exhibition at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, it examines every facet of his output, from his early Cubist-influenced paintings to the counter-reliefs, the "Tower," prints, set and costume designs and aeronautic researches, and constitutes an essential portrait of the ambitions of Soviet modernism. Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953) was born in the Ukraine, and studied icon painting in Moscow. In 1913 he traveled to Paris, where he encountered Picasso's three-dimensional sculptures, which directly inspired his own "counter-reliefs." Following the October Revolution, Tatlin directed his skills towards the Soviet cause, devising in 1920 his "Monument to the Third International."

Artist: Vladimir Tatlin

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