Russian Avant-Garde Movements | The Beginning of a New Aesthetic For Design

El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites With the Red Wedge, 1919, Lithograph, Source

El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites With the Red Wedge, 1919, Lithograph, Source

 

Russian avant-garde art movements like Suprematism and Constructivism played a sometimes forgotten yet incredibly influential role in the development of design. Initially influenced by both Cubism and Futurism, these movements developed specific nuances in their aesthetics caused by the cultural changes in Russia due to WWI and the Russian Revolution.

                                           Construction, 1921. Latvian National Museum of Art.

                                           Construction, 1921. Latvian National Museum of Art.

The Suprematism movement, whose philosophies rejected function and representation after the war was then followed by the Constructivism movement's philosophies that focused more on the social and political role of art after the revolution.

Suprematist Composition, 1916

Seeking solace in organized abstractionism graphic artists (and architects, and mathematicians, and writers and philosophers) seemed to reach a kin version of enlightenment. Many works became centered around purposefully stimulating the feeling of organization, structure, and harmony. 

The book designs of some of one of Suprematisms' most prominent artist like Eli Lissitzky can be seen reflected in the work of western artist like Jan Tschichold--who also happened to be directly inspired by Bauhaus, whose approach to design takes it's roots right back in Russian Constructivism. 

Book cover design by Lissitzky, Public Domain

Book cover design by Lissitzky, Public Domain

Jan Tschichold, official invitation for “Die Neue Typographie”, Image via beanfield.tumblr.com

Jan Tschichold, official invitation for “Die Neue Typographie”, Image via beanfield.tumblr.com

So even despite it's short term of a movement the design and typographical elements born from these Russian art movement theories took design to a new level.