Tatlin, Vladimir

Tatlin, Vladimir

(tät`lyĭn), 1885–1953, Russian painter and sculptor, known as the Father of Russian constructivismconstructivism,
Russian art movement founded c.1913 by Vladimir Tatlin, related to the movement known as suprematism. After 1916 the brothers Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner gave new impetus to Tatlin's art of purely abstract (although politically intended) constructions.
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. After graduating (1910) from the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts, he traveled to Paris where he was so influenced by PicassoPicasso, Pablo
(Pablo Ruiz y Picasso) , 1881–1973, Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramist, who worked in France. He is generally considered in his technical virtuosity, enormous versatility, and incredible originality and prolificity to have been the
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's reliefs that he became a sculptor. After the Russian Revolution, Tatlin produced art that remained abstract but was more politically oriented. His most famous piece remains his monument to the Third International (1920, Moscow), a 22-ft-high (6.7-m) iron frame on which rested a revolving cylinder, cube, and cone, all made of glass. He also is noted for his costumes for stage productions, such as Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (1915–17).
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Tatlin, Vladimir

Designed the Memorial to the Third International. It was a Constructivist architectural fantasy, a spiral leaning tower. Constructivism was a short-lived ideal in Russia.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tatlin, Vladimir Evgrafovich


Born Dec. 16 (28), 1885, in Moscow; died there May 31, 1953. Soviet painter, graphic artist, and stage designer.

Tatlin studied under V. A. Serov and K. A. Korovin at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in 1902–03 and 1909–10 and attended the Penza Art School from 1904 to 1909. From 1918 to 1921 he taught at the Moscow Vkhutemas (State Higher Arts and Technical Studios) and from 1927 to 1930 at the Moscow Vkhutein (State Higher Arts and Technical Institute). He taught at the Petrograd Academy of Arts from 1921 to 1925 and at the Kiev Art Institute from 1925 to 1927.

Denying realistic representation in art, Tatlin originally worked in the styles of cubism and futurism, as seen in The Model (1913, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow). In Soviet times, however, he tended more toward constructivism. He designed structures of glass, metal, and wood in the 1920’s and abandoned his experimentation with formal art, which had led him only to the blind alley of abstract art. He designed consumer goods for mass production and participated in the production arts movement. Tatlin helped introduce modern design in the USSR, creating plans for the ornithopter Letatlin (“Flying Tatlin,” 1930–31, Museum of the History of Aviation, Moscow), as well as furniture, ceramic ware, and clothing. He also designed a monument to the Third International (tower of iron, glass, wood; not preserved). He designed more than 80 theatrical productions, including Ostrovskii’s Comedian of the 17th Century (1935, Second Moscow Academic Art Theater) and A. A. Kron’s Distant Reconnaissance (1943, Moscow Academic Art Theater).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.