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Goldsmiths - University of London

About Two Worlds

Mabb, David. 2016. About Two Worlds. Salvage, 3, pp. 177-190. ISSN 2058-6361 [Article]

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David Mabb, 'About Two Worlds', 2015, acrylic paint, varnish, pencil, facsimiles of El Lissitzky’s 'About Two Squares' and William Morris’ Kelmscott Press 'The Wood Beyond the World' mounted on linen. Painting 1 (the Maid), 100 x 155 cm, Paintings 2-15, 80 x 70 cm. Photography: Peter White.

Mabb presents a work in two parts. In the first part, pages from a facsimile edition of William Morris’ Kelmscott edition of his late romance 'The Wood Beyond the World' has been overlaid with enlarged recreations of pages from Russian artist El Lissitzky’s acclaimed book 'About Two Squares'. In contrast, in the second part, Mabb has also overlaid Edward Burne Jones’ illustration of the Maid from 'The Wood Beyond the World' onto a facsimile edition of 'About Two Squares'.
Morris and Lissitzky both used their art to promote their socialist politics. Yet, whilst Morris saw beauty in the past, wanting to elevate Victorian society from the ugliness imposed by industrial manufacturing, for Lissitzky, the Russian revolution and the rapid advancement of science and technology meant the old world was no longer recognisable. He sought an entirely new visual language that could express the socialist world he believed he was helping to construct. Mabb draws our attention to the different directions of Morris and Lissitzky’s influences. Although on the surface they become collaborators, their designs remain distinct, never able to fully merge or separate.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: El Lissitzky, William Morris
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Departments, Centres and Research Units: Art
Item ID: 18653
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:53
URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/18653

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