Vladimir Tatlin

Vladimir Tatlin and his apprentices constructing the model of Tatlin’s Tower, a monument to the Third International.

Tower (400m at height) should be erected in Petrograd as a symbol of the October Revolution’s victory. The framework consist of four geometric structures made of steel and glass that rotate at different speed. Every structure has its own purpose: first contains legislative body, second - executive, third by information centre and its maintenance (radio, telegraph and etc) and the forth - unknown. Tatlin made several projects of it.

As with Letatlin, Tatlin understood that this construction could not  work due to technical development of the age. 


Tatlin’s Tower or The Monument to the Third International is a grand monumental building envisioned by the Russian artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin, but never built. It was planned to be erected in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, as the headquarters and monument of the Comintern (the third international).

Vladimir Tatlin - Corner Counter-relief, 1915

Picasso’s works made Tatlin move forward in developing the idea of art. For him it was important not to work only with the form and the color. New type of art was to be created on the junction of painting and sculpture. Tatlin experimented with different materials making his famous “Counter-reliefs”. The experiment consisted in how each material (wood, thread, glass, metall and etc) works with each other. Texture became an important characteristic of art. This dimensional compositions reflects Tatlin’s suspicion to vision so the touch should help. 

One of the masterpieces of Tatlin’s counter-reliefs is the “Corner counter-relief”, 1915 which broke out with the traditional plane-standing composition. 

Tatlin made a step from depicting the world to constructing the material environment.  


Tatlin’s Tower

Also known as “Monument to the Third International,” a design for a monumental Russian building that was never built. The separate spaces within the winding parts would spin annually, monthly, and so on. This was a Soviet response to France’s Eiffel Tower and the industrial progression of the country that it symbolized. It was to be “made of steel, glass, and revolution.”

There was not enough steel or manpower in Russia to complete the Tower. Russia was bankrupt, its political situation was tense, and the legitimacy/possibility of the building itself was in question. (wiki)


Between 1910 and 1915, Russian Futurist artists created a new form of art called zaum (“beyond the mind”) that fused words, visuals, and sound. Their hand-lithographed books emphasized “sound as such” and rejected logical meaning. 

Explore four of these unique books and hear 10 of the poems read aloud in Russian in a brand-new online interactive that also features Russian transliterations and English translations. The interactive is a companion piece to a new book about sound, image, and word in Russian Futurist book art.

Cover and poem from Mirskontsa (Worldbackwards), 1912, Natalia Goncharova, cover design; Velimir Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchenykh, poetry; Mikhail Larionov, Nikolai Rogovin, and Vladimir Tatlin, lithography. The Getty Research Institute, 88-B27486. Cover of Pomada (Pomade), 1913, Mikhail Larionov, lithographer. The Getty Research Institute, 88-B26240