Exhibition

The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor.
El Lissitzky: The Self-Portrait as the Kestner Gesellschaft

July 8 - Oct. 1, 2023

El Lissitzky, 1923, Proun, Blatt 2 aus der 1. Kestnermappe, 602 x 441 mm
El Lissitzky, 1923, Proun, Sheet 2 from the 1st Kestnermappe, Lithography, 602 x 441 mm (Detail)

With the exhibition The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor , the Kestner Gesellschaft traces the founding moments of its history and the avant-garde mission. Presented only seven years after the Kestner Gesellschaft’s establishment in 1916, the exhibition El Lissitzky was the very first institutional solo show of the Russian artist, marking his groundbreaking position as the announcer of the new vocabulary which revolutionised the formal language of art and well as his role as a constructor of an institutional thinking, based upon the scientific and experiential perception and innovative approach to exhibition’s architecture, strategies of display and a total understanding of artistic creation.

The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor celebrates the centenary of this exhibition by paying a tribute to this significant fact in the Kestner Gesellschaft’s institutional history, a fact which planted a seed for a vast variety of experimental and progressive ideas, reflected in the future program and the institutional identity of the Kestner Gesellschaft. The exhibition emphasizes the pioneering and visionary aspects, developed around this time by then director and curator Alexander Dorner and other representatives of the avant-garde, active in Hannover at the beginning of the 1920s. Moreover, it investigates the long-lasting legacy of that period, and its impact on the museum’s discourse, especially in regards to Dorner’s term of the “living museum” and El Lissitzky’s “imaginary spaces” where the art experience was meant to become more personal, intense, and multidimensional, fitting the life of a new, modern man, inhabiting a constantly changing world, full of contrasts.

Conceived as an institutional self-portrait of a prophetic artist, The New Man, The Announcer, The Constructor consist of the archival materials and historical positions, set up in a confrontation with the deconstructive and revisionist reading of the modernist paradigm by the contemporary artists.

With, amongst others, Fernanda Fragateiro, Florian Pumhösl, BEASTER, Susanne Sachsse, Marysia Lewandowska, and historical works by El Lissitzky, Lajos Kassák, László Moholy-Nagy, László Péri, Kurt Schwitters and many others.

Exhibition architecture will be developed by Vienna-based architectural ENTERprise (Marie-Therese Harnoncourt-Fuchs and Ernst J. Fuchs).


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