Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Not on view
In 1926 Lissitzky joined colleagues from the Association of New Architects (ASNOVA) in designing a new sports club, and he created this frenzied representation of an urban athlete as a model for a large frieze. He combined images of at least three separate elements-the runner, the track and hurdle, and a double exposure of Times Square-into a single print and then sliced that print into strips, creating an object that is both constructed and deconstructed. The visual result is a suspenseful moment-shattered, separated, and stretched-that weaves the mechanics of man into a dynamic tapestry of industrial optimism. The heroic pose of the runner, transposed to the center of New York City, becomes an emblem of triumphant human achievement: man and metal engage in an ambitious leap across several voids in the service of industrial progress.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso, top center, in Russian translated as: "Work by Lissitzky // (20's ??) // N. Khard-- [Khardzhiev]"; center: "EL";
Nicolai Khardjiev, U.S.S.R. (probably directly from Lissitzky); [Boris Kerdinum, New York (early 1980s)]; [Rosa Esman, New York (ca. 1983)]; John C. Waddell, New York (December 28, 1983)
The background image for this photomontage (the cityscape) is a photograph of Times Square by Knud Lonberg-Holm, which is reproduced in Cahiers d'Art, No.3, March 1926, p.60 and Erich Mendelsohn's "Amerika," 1926, pl. 44.