Tatlin's Tower

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Monument to Revolution

Norbert Lynton

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $55.00
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An examination of the greatest unexecuted work of art of the 20th century

The plans for the gigantic Monument to the Third International were completed in 1920 by Vladimir Tatlin, the Russian painter and visionary designer who was a key figure of Russian constructivism. Planned as the headquarters and monument of the Comintern in Petrograd, it was to be made from industrial materials—iron, glass, and steel—as a towering symbol of modernity. Because of the political turmoil and housing shortages in Russia after the 1917 Revolution, the building was never constructed, but it remains a celebrated icon of revolutionary art.

In this insightful book, Norbert Lynton investigates the sources and symbolism of Tatlin’s Tower and considers not only its significance but also the broader role of allegory in abstraction and as an expression of man’s highest aspirations.  Then, in light of his new symbolic reading of the Tower, Lynton examines Tatlin’s flying machine, Letatlin, and earlier works in his career and discusses their impact on other Russian painters, sculptors, designers, and architects of his era. 

Norbert Lynton, who died in 2007, was the founding professor of art history at Sussex University and a respected critic.

'Lynton does a thorough job on [Tatlin’s Tower’s] genesis and its time.'

"Written in an intelligent, leisurely, and accessible style, the text places the various stages of Tatlin's development into a wider artistic, cultural, and philosophical context. . . . [In] emphasizing the spiritual and Orthodox religious context surrounding Tatlin, the forms of his monument and its placement in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), Lynton has thrown valuable new light on an artist who is all too often associated exclusively with materialism and the machine."—Christina Lodder, The Russian Review

‘This study of the pivotal Russian avant-garde artist Vladimir Tatlin contains some wonderfully evocative descriptions of particular works, and it exudes a palpable enthusiasm for the man and his art.’ — Martin Hammer, Burlington, April 2010

"The author illuminates the artist's role in a momentous social program. . . . A humanized, holistic vision of Tatlin and his work."--T. A. Horton, The Architect's Newspaper

"The book is a richly rewarding exegesis of Vladimir Tatlin's 1920 Monument to the Third International."--Roann Barris, Slavic Review

“Lynton’s last and posthumous study should be regarded as a most welcome addition….The fascinating feature of this book is its remarkable integrity and meticulous approach to detail. The presentation of the argument is impeccably lucid and always interesting….Lynton’s study is an example of superior scholarship….the breadth of analysis is truly remarkable and the book should be regarded as an invaluable contribution to the scholarship of the Russian avant-garde.”—Olga Sobolev, Slavonic and East European Review Vol.89 No.2
ISBN: 9780300111309
Publication Date: July 28, 2009
240 pages, 7 x 10
45 b/w + 10 color illus.