Vladimir Tatlin

From Monoskop
Revision as of 22:48, 21 October 2011 by Dusan (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Born 1885 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Russian Empire, to a railway engineer and a poet. Works as a merchant sea cadet and spends some time abroad. Begins his art career as an icon painter in Moscow, and attends the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Also a professional musician-bandurist, and 1906 performs at the Paris World Fair. 1915 public conflict with Malevich over his 'suprematist' works shown at the time of the 'Zero-Ten' (0.10) exhibition, also called "the last futurist exhibition", what leads Malevich to develop his ideas further in the city of Vitebsk where he founds a UNOVIS school. Visits Picasso in his Paris studio, returns to Russia and begins producing Relief Constructions (1913-17), a series of sculptures made from wood, iron and an assortment of junk and other "found" materials for hanging in wall corners, in an imitation of similar works by his Spanish host. Constructions culminate in an extraordinary model for Monument to the Third International (an unfinished wooden prototype), exhibited in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in November 1920 and in Moscow in December 1920, and which quickly became a symbol of the Constructivists. The monument was conceived as a working building, an enormous skeletal apparatus a third higher than the Eiffel Tower at 1,300 feet high. Inside the iron-and-steel structure of twin spirals, the design envisaged three building blocks intended to house the executive, administrative and propaganda offices of the Comintern, covered with glass windows, which would rotate at different speeds (the first one, a cube, once a year; the second one, a pyramid, once a month; the third one, a cylinder, once a day). Resembling a huge functioning machine made of iron beams and glass, the tower demonstrated the power of the machine aesthetic as a symbol of revolutionary objectives. Tatlin declared that he was restoring the essential unity of painting, sculpture and architecture, "combining purely artistic forms with utilitarian intentions.. The fruits of this are models which give rise to discoveries serving the creation of a new world and which call upon producers to control the forms of the new everyday life" (Bann, p 14). High prices prevent execution of the plan. At the end of his life he starts to research bird flight, in order to pursue one of the great dreams of humanity: to fly. Died 1953.