El Lissitzky was born Lazar Markovich Lisitskii in 1890, in Pochinok, in the Russian province of Smolensk. Lisstizky studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany from 1909 to 1914, when he was forced to return to Russia at the outbreak of WWI. He received a diploma in engineering and architecture from the Riga Technological University in 1916.
In 1919, with an invitation from Marc Chagall, Lissitzky joined the faculty of the Vitebsk Popular Art School, where he taught architecture and graphics. He became a member of Inkhuk (Institute for Artistic Culture) in Moscow in 1920. The following year, he joined the Constructivist group and taught at Vkhutemas with Vladimir Tatlin.
In 1923, Lissitzky experimented with a new topographic design for a book by Vladimir Mayakovski, “Dlya golosa”. During the same year, he produced his lithographic suites, “Proun” and “ Victory Over the Sun” (illustrating the opera by Alexei Kruchenykh and Mikhail Matiushin), before traveling to Switzerland for medical treatment. In 1925, Lissitzky returned to Moscow to teach at Vkhutemas-Vkhutein, where he remained until 1930. He created a room for the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Dresden in 1926 and another at the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover in 1927. El Lissitzky died in 1941 in Moscow.