Lazar Khidekel: Celebration of the 110th anniversary of an artist, visionary architect, designer, theoretician and a pioneer of environmentalism (1904-1986)

Lazar Khidekel became an important proponent and theoretician of the avant-garde movement known as Suprematism and a founding member of Unovis group.

Event Venue:

AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place

Event Date:

Tuesday, March 11 | 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM | NYC

Daniel Libeskind, AIA, BDA, Founder, Studio Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind, AIA, BDA, is an international architect and designer. His workranges from museums and concert halls to convention centers, universities, hotels, shopping centers, and residential projects. Born in Łódź, Poland in 1946, Libeskind has received numerous awards and designed world-renowned projects including: the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Denver Art Museum, Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas, Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore, the Military History Museum in Dresden and the master plan for Ground Zero, among others. Daniel Libeskind’s commitment to expanding the scope of architecture reflects his profound interest and involvement in philosophy, art, literature, and music. Fundamental to Libeskind’s philosophy is the notion that buildings are crafted with the perceptible human energy, and that they address the greater cultural context in which they are built. Libeskind teaches and lectures at universities across the world. He resides in New York City with his wife and business partner, Nina Libeskind. 

Dr. Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Chair in the History of Architecture, New York University's Institute of Fine Arts
Jean-Louis Cohen holds the Sheldon H. Solow Chair in the History of Architecture at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. His research has focused on the German and Soviet architectural avant-gardes, colonial situations in North Africa, Paris planning history, and Le Corbusier's work. His recent publications include Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War (2011), The Future of Architecture Since 1889 (2012), and Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes (2013). He has curated numerous exhibitions, including the centennial show “L'Aventure Le Corbusier” (1987) at the Centre Georges Pompidou, “Scenes of the World to Come” (1995) and “Architecture in Uniform” (2011) at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, “Interférences / Interferenzen – Architecture, Allemagne, France” (2013) at the Musées de Strasbourg, and “The Lost Vanguard” (2007) and “Le Corbusier: an Atlas of Modern Landscapes” (2013) at the Museum of Modern Art. He has received many awards from European and North American institutions, and he was a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.


Dr. Maria Kokkori, Research Fellow, The Art Institute of Chicago

Dr. Maria Kokkori is a research fellow at The Art Institute of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2008where her thesis focused on the examination of paintings by Kazimir Malevich, Ivan Kliun and LiubovPopova c.1905-1925. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute with a focus on Russian constructivist works by AleksandrRodchenko. During 2009-2011 she was a postdoctoral research fellow of the Malevich Society in New York. She is a member of Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC) advisory board and member of the board of directors of the Malevich Society in New York. 


Anna Bokov, Ph.DCandidate, Yale School of Architecture

Anna Bokov’s Ph.D. project at Yale University focuses on the history of early modernist design education in the Soviet Union. Her area of research is the VKhUTEMAS School, active in Moscow from 1920 to 1930, and the experimental architectural methodology developed by Nikolay Ladovsky and his colleagues. Bokov received her B.Arch. from Syracuse University and her M.Arch. from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Anna taught at the Moscow Architectural Institute and at Northeastern University School of Architecture in Boston. She was an editor of the Project Russia magazine, a leading architectural periodical in Russia. She has worked as an architect and urban designer with NBBJ in Moscow and Columbus, Ohio, the City of Somerville Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development in Somerville, Massachusetts, Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, GluckmanMayner Architects, and Polshek Partnership/Ennead in New York.


Dr. Regina Khidekel, President of the Lazar Khidekel Society
Dr. Regina Khidekel is a renowned art historian and curator focusing on Russian art and culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. In 1990, she assumed the position of Art Director of the Diaghilev Art Center.

Since moving to the U.S. in 1993, Khidekel has made her mark on the NYC art scene. Her book, It’s theReal Thing: Soviet & Post-Soviet Art & American Pop Art (1998), was published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum and became a bestseller, substantially contributing to the field of Russian-American comparative studies. After curating a number of highly acclaimed exhibitions focusing on comparative studies on Russian and American art, Khidekelbecame aware of the necessity for an organization dedicated to integrating Russian-speaking and American communities. She founded the Russian American Cultural Center (RACC) in 1998 to promote cross-cultural programs.Khidekel’s work has been featured in numerous publications, inmuseum and gallery catalogs, and on TV. She has lectured at Columbia University, Bryn Mawr College, Parsons School of Design, and Cooper-Hewitt. In recognition of her dedication and contribution to Russian-American cultural affairs, she was awarded the Sign of Honor by Roszarubezhcente from the Russian Center of International Science and Cultural Collaboration at the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Closing Remarks

Dr. Mark Khidekel, Recipient of the Grand Prix award at the World Biennial INTERARCH 1983
Dr. Mark Khidekel, renowned architect, designer and artist, continues to develop the style of Suprematismafter his father, Lazar Khidekel, prominent Avant-garde Suprematist artist and architect. His Post-Suprematist Architectural Dishes were first produced in 1994. Today, Khidekel is extending the scope of his designs in different areas and manufacturing them under his company name. Khidekel participated in several international competitions and has received a number of international prizes including the “Grand Prix” of the World Biennial INTERARCH in 1983. He was a visiting professor at Parsons School of Design and collaborated with Philip Johnson. Khidekel often participates in international exhibitions and architectural competitions, and he has been a Registered Architect of New York State since 1996. He is known for his visionary projects such as “Vertical Highway” and “Bridge-City.”

Architectural works and drawings by Mark Khidekel were featured in a number of exhibitions, including Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art.

Roman Khidekel

Roman Khidekel graduated from Fordham University in 2002 with a BA degree in Philosophy. He researched the economic development of Eastern Europe, concentrating on infrastructure development and healthcare improvements while working at the United Nation Development Fund from 2002-2003. Khidekel has worked in construction management, where he interacts with various local authorities, including the NYC Department of Buildings. Khidekel has developed a number of architectural and urban competitions and design concepts, including “Bridge City,” an innovative multipurpose urban mega-structure, and a competition on storm/flood protection for NYC. He works with various new media formats, including graphic design, video, and computer simulation. Khidekel is also involved in a number of non-profit organizations, including the Russian American Cultural Center and the Lazar Khidekel Society, where he is the research manager and has organized art exhibitions, art events, poetry readings, book readings, film screenings and film festivals.

Organized byAIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture and the Russian American Cultural Center

Celebrations of the 110th Anniversary of Lazar Khidekel: An Artist, Visionary Architect, Designer, Theoretician and Pioneer of Environmentalism at the Center for Architecture/American Institute of Architects in New York on March 11 and at the House of Architects in St. Petersburg on March 4, were a huge success.

Both events have aroused great interest of the public and professional audiences were overcrowded and sold well in advance.

We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all participants of theses memorable manifestations: Rick Bell, AIA director, for organizing this event in collaboration with the RACC and Lazar Khidekel Society, wonderful speakers: Daniel Libeskind, Maria Kokkori, Jean-Louis Cohen, Anya Bokov and Mark and Roman Khidekel.   Regina Khidekel was a moderator and made slide show presentation about Lazar Khidekel life and work. This role in St. Petersburg took Margarita Shtiglits, one of organizers of the event along with the President of the Union of Architects, Oleg Romanov and architect Raphael Dayanov. The exhibition opening and round table discussion gathered together former students of Lazar Khidekel to share memories of a Teacher and a deep understanding of his role in history of art and architecture. According to tradition, celebration was continued with a festive banquet.

Lazar Khidekel worked closely with Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich in Vitbesk in the years 1918-1922, where he became an important proponent and theoretician of the avant-garde movement known as Suprematism and a founding member of Unovis group (Affirmers of New Art), which included other notable artists such as Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitsky, Nina Kogan, Ilya Chashnik, and Nikolay Suetin.
In the 1920s, while still a student, Lazar Khidekel became influential, creating the first Suprematist architectural project (1926) that revealed the leading direction of Leningrad avant-garde architecture, Suprematist Constructivism. This process of reducing the distance between and even synthesize Constructivism and Suprematism was conducted in collaboration with the architects Alexander Nikolsky and Grigorii Simonov, who were introduced to Suprematism by the disciple Lazar Khidekel at the Leningrad Institute of Civil Engineers (1922-29), and did Lazar Khidekel their coauthor of several important architectural projects in the late 1920s.
The only architect from Malevich's group, Lazar Khidekel was able to develop innovative ideas in the projects of futuristic cities, buildings for a new way of life, the communal housings, and plans for new forms of skyscrapers in Suprematist style. Among his realized projects are socialist towns conjoining industrial and residential complexes (1930-1932), first radio-theater, House of Radio, first three-hall movie theater, number of schools and educational institutions. Khidekel’s projects of the 1930s were granted status of landmarks in the 1960s.

In the 1950's, after Stalin's death, Khidekel come back to work with Suprematist forms which coincided with the emergence of Minimal and Conceptual art in the US and Western Europe, as well as metabolism in Japan and European Situationism. It was not by chance, that the New York art critique Hilton Cramer, who for the first time saw Khidekel's painting at the 1995 exhibition at the Jewish Museum, was stricken by his "Concentric Circles" which seemed to be a draft for Kenneth Noland's circles produced forty years later. And today young architects are stating: "Khidekel's vision still manage to look futuristic arguably more so than most of the Metabolists or Situationist projects that today feel retro-futurist, inextricably tied to the past. Khidekel's work remains endlessly floating towards the future".

Works of Lazar Khidekel were shown in the US, Europe and Russia, including solo exhibitions in New York 1995, Magnes Museum in Berkeley 2004, Haus Konstruktiv and The Lewenhoff, Zurich 2010-2012 and The YVO Institute, NYC 2013
International Display History:
Guggenheim Museum "The Great Utopia" 1992
State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow "The Great Utopia" 1993
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt “Europa, Europa”1994
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York “Lazar Markovich Khidekel. Suprematism and Architecture” 1995
Museum Ludwig Koln, “Kazimir Malevich. Werk und Wirkung ” 1995
The Jewish Museum, NY “Russian Jewish Artists in a Century of Change” 1996
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, “Malevich’s Circle” 2000
Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich “The Rediscovered Suprematist” 2010-11
Proun Gallery, Moscow 2010, 2011, 2012
The Lowenhoff, Zurich “The Rediscovered Suprematist -2” 2012
The YVO Institute, NYC “The Floating Worlds and Future Cities” 2013

In 2013 the international Lazar Khidekel Award was established and the next ceremony will take place in Baku in fall of 2014. Among other planned events are the celebration of Lazar Khidekel in St. Petersburg, two exhibitions in London (July-October 2014), etc.
An exhibition "UNOVIS" including works by Khidekel to be opened in 2015 at the following locations: Van Abbe-museum, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Centre Pompidou Paris, and The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Among other 2014 planned events are a Ceremony of international Lazar Khidekel Award for Innovative Architectural Approaches: Visionary of the XXI Century in Baku, Azerbaijan; Lazar Khidekel’s solo exhibitions in London and San Francisco, participation in the exhibition “Avant-garde and Aviation” at the Moscow Jewish Museum/Tolerance Center, and Venice Biennial 2014. The release of a monograph Lazar Khidekel and Suprematism by Prestel Publishing is scheduled for November 1, 2014. Again, special thank goes to the Malevich Society for supporting this major publication on different stages.


AIA New York Chaper | eOculus - Suprematism Revisited by Claire Webb

AIA New York Chaper | Calendar of Events

The 110th Anniversary of avant-garde artist and architect Lazar Khidekel at the AIA Center for Architecture via Studio Daniel Libeskind |

Arhitektura ML | К 110-летию Лазаря Марковича Хидекеля by N. Fedotov (in Russian)

Три сюжета о Витебске 2013 года в изложении зодчего Николая Федотова via YouTube

Russkaya Reklama | Либескинд - дитя любви by V. Orlov

For more information, visit AIA New York

Download the Event Program:

Click here to read additional articles about the event:

"Возможно - гений..." Kultura via

"Либескинд - дитя любви"  by V. Orlov and "К 110 - летию Лазаря Хидекеля" by V. Artov via Russkaya Reklama

"Suprematism Revisited" by Claire Webb and "АВАНГАРДИСТ" by V. Orlov via ПОЛЕЗНАЯ ГАЗЕТА