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Maker(s):Lozowick, Louis
Culture:American, born in Ukraine, Russian Empire (1892-1973)
Title:Monument to the Third International after Vladimir Tatlin's drawing
Date Made:1920-1925
Materials:Pen and ink on laid paper
Measurements:Sheet: 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in.; 24.1 x 18.7 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.232
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
Louis Lozowick moved to the United States in 1906, where he studied at the National Academy of Design. In 1920 he undertook a four-year trip to Europe, during which he visited the Soviet Union. He was impressed by the Constructivists and other avant-garde artists. On his return to the United States Lozowick published Modern Russian Art, which included a drawing of Vladimir Tatlin’s tower.

Tatlin designed the tower in honor of the Third Communist International. Ivan Puni published Tatlin’s drawings, and the wooden model was shown in parades, yet the gigantic project—1,312 feet high—was never executed. Nevertheless, to this day it conveys the spirit of modernity.

The open construction stands in contrast to the prevailing building practice of the early twentieth century. It symbolizes the new labor ethos in the young Soviet state. Four suspended glass volumes in the center were intended to house a radio station and observatory, and provide space for gatherings of the Communist International Assembly and smaller meetings of other organizations.
BJ, 2014

Louis Lozowick was born in a Jewish shtetl near Kyiv and attended the Kyiv Art School, later relocating to the United States where he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and The Ohio State University. The bold, graphic geometry of Lozowick’s style appears inspired by the works of major Constructivist artists, such as El Lissitsky, whom Lozowick befriended when in Berlin in the 1920s. While in New York, Lozowick lectured on modern Russian art for the Société Anonyme, thereby promoting the Soviet avant-garde in the West.

In this copy drawing by Lozowick, Vladimir Tatlin’s “Monument to the Third International” materializes on the page as a crystalline spiral, the diagonal bend of the built model transmuted into a solid, upward-reaching form. Commissioned as a monument to the Bolshevik Revolution in Petrograd, Tatlin conceived of his tower as the headquarters for the Third International, or the world organization of the Communist party. The building was intended to be 1,300 feet tall, thereby eclipsing the Eiffel Tower. The four volumes of the tower were to rotate at different speeds, interconnected like a mechanical solar system, one that mirrors the universal gravitas of revolutionary ideals. Tatlin intended to install a projector at the top of the tower—designed to cast messages on overcast skies—further perpetuating the celestial imagery. Although several models of the monument were built, the project never materialized, existing in perpetuity as an awe-struck vision of the future.

Julia Molin, 2023

drawing; architecture; monuments; towers; construction; structures

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