Proun 19D is a work by El Lissitzky, created between 1920 and 1921. It has been traditionally understood within the sociocultural context of the emergent Soviet Union and was one of a series of works titled Proun, short for ‘Project for the Affirmation of the New’. This word, ‘Proun’, is an acronym for “project for the affirmation of the new” in Russian. Some Proun works are painted on canvas, such as this oil painting by Lissitzky. This particular composition (C. 1922) can be found at MOMA.
The artist’s intention was to span a variety of mediums from paintings and illustrations to physical installation pieces, something which he manages to achieve with Proun 19D. The artwork shows two white figures with a red wedge in between them, calling attention to his theme of manifesting Soviet ideological struggle.
Lissitzky’s Proun 19D is an important work that embraces the then-emerging culture and aesthetics in Russia during the 1910s and 1920s. Another art piece inspired by this era is Roy Lichtenstein’s In The Car (1963). Although taking an entirely different approach to its subject matter, it defies conventions of painting in mannerly fashion in order to extend modes of visual expression beyond traditional means.