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Tue 03.11.2014

Celebration of the 110th anniversary of Lazar Khidekel: An artist, visionary architect, designer, theoretician and a pioneer of environmentalism (1904-1986)


When: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM TUESDAY, MARCH 11

Where: At The Center   

Join us for a panel discussion commemorating the 110th Anniversary of avant-garde artist and architect Lazar Khidekel.

The discussions will focus on Lazar Khidekel's role in the transition of Suprematism from painting to architecture, cosmic urbanization, and radical yet environmentally conscious city planning of the future.

Speakers will explore Khidekel’s contribution to the Russian avant-garde and its importance for the development of modern architecture and issues of environmental sustainability today.

A pop-up installation will include approximately 20 works - paintings, drawings, period photographs, UNOVIS documents, and publications, including the legendary AERO, Khidekel’s handmade book from 1920, considered as one of the first ecological manifestos of the modern era. Two architectural models of Lazar Khidekel’s first explorations of architectural Suprematism – Aeroclub, 1923, and Worker’s Club, 1926, will be on display.


Daniel Libeskind, AIA, Founder, Studio Daniel Libeskind
Dr. Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts
Dr. Maria Kokkori, Research Fellow, The Art Institute of Chicago
Anna Bokov, PhD Program, Yale School of Architecture

Dr. Regina Khidekel
, President of the Lazar Khidekel Society – Slide presentation about life and work of Lazar Khidekel

Closing Remarks
Dr. Mark Khidekel, Recipient of the Grand Prix award at the World Biennial INTERARCH 1983 - The development of Russian Avant-garde Ecological themes to solve Architectural challenges of the 21st century postindustrial civilization.

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture and the Russian American Cultural Center

Vodka Sponsored by:

Captions: Lazar Khidekel portrait and Lazar Khidekel, Workers Club,1926, and Collective Dwelling 1927

More information on Lazar Khidekel

Lazar Khidekel worked closely with Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich in Vitbesk in the years 1918-1922. During this time, he became an important proponent and theoretician of the avant-garde movement known as Suprematism and a founding member of the Unovis group (Affirmers of New Art), which included other notable artists such as Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitsky, Nina Kogan, Ilya Chashnik, and Nikolay Suetin.
In the 1920s, while still a student, Lazar Khidekel became influential, creating the first Suprematist architectural project (1926) that revealed the leading direction of Leningrad avant-garde architecture, Suprematist Constructivism. This process of reducing the distance between Constructivism and Suprematism was conducted in collaboration with the architects Alexander Nikolsky and Grigorii Simonov, who were introduced to Suprematism by the disciple Lazar Khidekel at the Leningrad Institute of Civil Engineers (1922-29). Khidekel coauthored several of their important architectural projects in the late 1920s.

The only architect from Malevich's group, Lazar Khidekel was able to develop innovative ideas about futuristic cities, building for a new way of life, communal housing, and plans for new forms of skyscrapers in the Suprematist style. Among his realized projects are socialist towns conjoining industrial and residential complexes (1930-1932), the first radio-theater, House of Radio, the first three-hall movie theater, and a number of schools and educational institutions. Khidekel’s projects of the 1930s were granted the status of landmarks in the 1960s.
In the 1950's, after Stalin's death, Khidekel came back to work with Suprematist forms that coincided with the emergence of Minimal and Conceptual art in the US and Western Europe, as well as metabolism in Japan and European Situationism. It was not by chance that the New York art critic Hilton Cramer, who saw a painting by Khidekel for the first time at a 1995 exhibition at the Jewish Museum, was stricken by his "Concentric Circles" which seemed to be a draft for Kenneth Noland's circles produced forty years later. Today young architects state: "Khidekel's vision still manages to look futuristic, arguably more so than most of the Metabolists or Situationist projects that today feel retro-futurist, inextricably tied to the past. Khidekel's work remains endlessly floating towards the future."

Works by Lazar Khidekel have been shown in the US, Europe and Russia, including in solo exhibitions in the Leonard Hutton Galleries in New York (1995), the Magnes Museum in Berkeley (2004), Haus Konstruktiv and The Lewenhoff in Zurich (2010-2012) and The YVO Institute in New York (2013)

International Display History:
Guggenheim Museum "The Great Utopia" (1992)
State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow, "The Great Utopia" (1993)
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt “Europa, Europa” (1994)
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York, “Lazar Markovich Khidekel. Suprematism and Architecture” (1995)
Museum Ludwig Koln, “Kazimir Malevich. Werk und Wirkung” (1995)
The Jewish Museum, New York,  “Russian Jewish Artists in a Century of Change” (1996)
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, “Malevich’s Circle” (2000)
Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, “The Rediscovered Suprematist” (2010-11)
Proun Gallery, Moscow (2010, 2011, 2012)
The Lowenhoff, Zurich, “The Rediscovered Suprematist -2” (2012)
The YVO Institute, New York, “The Floating Worlds and Future Cities” (2013)
In 2013 the international Lazar Khidekel Award was established. The next ceremony will take place in Baku in fall of 2014. Among other planned events are the celebration of Lazar Khidekel in St. Petersburg, and two exhibitions in London (July-October 2014). The exhibition "UNOVIS" will include works by Khidekel. The show is set to open in 2015 at the following locations: Van Abbe-museum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Centre Pompidou, Paris, and The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID - RSVP using the form to the right 
$10 for non-members


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