Leonid Lamm received his initial education at the Construction Institute of the Moscow City Council, where he studied under Yakov Chernikov, an avant-garde architect and one of the most outstanding representatives of Russian architectural futurism. Thanks to Chernikov and few other avant-garde figures still living in Moscow in the 40s, he was introduced to the artistic concepts of Vladimir Tatlin and Kazimir Malevich, whose artistic legacy was strictly censored by Stalin and the Soviet authorities.
After graduating from the Moscow Polygraphic Institute in 1954, Lamm started a successful career as an illustrator, but like many of his contemporaries, remained discreet about his own creative pursuits. After an unexpected arrest and a three-year imprisonment, the artist emigrated to New York in 1982.
Executed in the first years of the Khrushchev Thaw, 'Space Construction' enters into polemics with the aesthetics of the Russian avant-garde and the architectural forms of Chernikov’s designs. Employing the visual language of the avant-garde characterised by an intensive use of colour and abstract geometric compositions, Lamm is paying tribute to the futuristic visions of the constructivists of the 1920s. Nevertheless, having experienced the excesses of the Soviet regime through his personal life and professional career, the artist is questioning the relationship between the Communist dream and the cruelty of Soviet reality.
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