Portfolio Naples October 2018 - Page 68

into a sea of colorful banners and signs designed by Chagall and David Yakerson. Studies for these banners will be on view in the exhibition. After the celebrations, Chagall devoted him- self to creating his school which was officially inaugurated on January 28, 1919, with the goal of providing a high level of teaching in all art styles. While the first teachers left before the spring, they were re- placed by others. El Lissitzky took charge of the printing, individualist art while making ironic use of the language of non-objective art promoted by Malevich and his students. Meanwhile, during his time in Vitebsk, Malevich began to abandon painting - an exception being his magisterial painting Suprematism of the Spirit (1919), included in the exhibition - in favor of his main theoretical writings and education. A sec- ond painting by Malevich, Mystic Suprematism (Red Cross on Black Circle), 1920-22, will also be on view. A methodical and graphic design, and architecture workshops. e leader of the abstract movement, Kazimir Malevich, founder of Suprema- tism, was a charismatic theorist who galvanized the young stu- dents upon his arrival in November 1919. He formed a group with sympathetic teachers and students called UNOVIS (Af- firmers of the New Art). Suprematist abstraction became the new paradigm. Lissitzky, as a trained architect, played a crucial role in the newly founded collective. With his extraordinary Proun series (Projects for the Affirmation of the New), he was the first to extend architectural volume to the pictorial plane, considering the series as "stations where one changes from painting to architecture." Chagall continued to produce his stimulating teacher, he attracted more and more students, while attendance to Chagall's classes gradually dwindled. Chagall's dream was to develop a revolutionary art inde- pendent of style or dogma but this came to an end in the spring of 1920. He decided to leave Vitebsk in June and went to live and work for the Jewish theater in Moscow. After Cha- gall's departure, Malevich and the UNOVIS collective, now in command, staged exhibitions in Vitebsk and major Russian cities. With the end of civil war in 1921-1922, the political climate changed again. e Soviet authorities decided to im- pose ideological and social order, eliminating artistic move- ments which did not directly serve the interests of the 66 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE