Vladimir Tatlin - A Great Creative Mind

Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, as the son of a railway engineer and poet, on 25 December 1885. He started his career as a sea merchant, which meant that he to spend a lot of time abroad. Vladimir Tatlin attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and began developing his artistic abilities by painting icons in Moscow.

While Vladimir Tatlin was perfecting his art as a painter, the architect in him designed the most prolific icon of his career, and a structure that would secure him as a famous Russian Architect. The massive Monument to the Third International, or as it is known as Tatlin’s Tower, was planned in 1920. Tatlin had built a scale model of his envisioned tower that was going to dwarf the Eiffel Tower. The tower was to be made of an iron and steel structure that was to be 1 300 feet in height. The structure was to have twin spirals, with three glass covered building blocks that were to rotate. The first block was to be a cube that rotated once a year, the second was to be in the shape of a pyramid that was to rotate once a month and the third, a cylinder that rotated once a day. Vladimir Tatlin had designed an architectural masterpiece, but due to the cost involved in such a project, Tatlin’s Tower was never realized.

Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin had very unique and different ideas when it came to his art. He wanted to rebel against the traditional painting hanging, and constructed works of art that was to be hung in the corner of a room. By creating these iron and wooden art works, Tatlin had founded the Russian Constructivist Art and soon had artists such as Naum Babo, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Antoine Pevsner trying their hand as constructivists.

Together with Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir would become famous for his role as one of the two most important figures in the 1920’s movement, called the Russian avant-garde. Tatlin and Malevich would part ways when Malevich disagreed with the Constructivism utilitarian program. Vladimir Tatlin then went off to develop his own Suprematist program in Vitebsk.

By the end of his life, Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin had explored and dedicated himself to the study of all objects and subjects, and it was this inquiring mind, that led him to start investigating the possibility of human flight! Vladimir Tatlin died on 31 May 1953, and was laid to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.


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