Before the Soviets shaped their New Man, there was debate over just what he should look like.
El Lissitzky, ‘For the Voice (Dlia golosa),’ 1923. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.
A version of this post appeared in Yiddish.
Over a half-century after his death in 1955 at age 40, the American designer Alvin Lustig of Polish-Austrian Jewish origin is more influential than ever. “Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig,” by Steve Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen, out from Chronicle Books in October 2010, pays elegant homage to the visual thinker. Cohen, Lustig’s widow, is a noted designer herself, explaining how before Lustig’s life was cut short by complications from diabetes, he managed to conquer the book and interior design professions by being “never short of chutzpah.”