In 2013 SFMOMA will close for an expansion project planned to last nearly three years. Reflecting on the closure, grupa o.k. asked several friends and colleagues to imagine their own proposals for a museum in San Francisco. And now and then, the editors present “proposals” discovered elsewhere. Today: El Lissitzky’s Kabinett der Abstrakten.
El Lissitzky built this modular and changeable room for abstract art in 1927–28 at the invitation of Alexander Dorner for the Landesmuseum in Hannover. The Abstract Cabinet was destroyed in 1936 during the Third Reich. The installation came to mind immediately when Ahmet Öğüt called for an “intervention that is not permanent, but [that uses] the art already existing in a given museum as a tool that could create new readings, understandings, misunderstandings, and new life for the collection.” We think El Lissitzky was trying to do just that.
Here are some photographs of the Abstract Cabinet showing works by Piet Mondrian, Mies van der Rohe, and others.