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 Alexander Rodchenko

Born:   5 December [O.S. 23 November] 1891
Deceased:   December 3, 1956

Soviet painter, graphic artist, sculptor, photographer, and stage and production designer. One of founders of Constructivism, th


Alexander Rodchenko was one of the most decisive and sequential innovators, who aspired to unheard-of aims in the 1910s – 1920s. He studied at the Kazan Art School (1910-14) and shortly in an art college in Moscow (1914). He shifted from Symbolist passion of his youth to Futurism, and exhibited his non-figurative abstract geometrical paintings at the exhibition Shop in 1916. Afterwards Alexander Rodchenko negated painting for the sake of industrial art that was actively building new variations of life. Why depict life, if one can influence reality and make it embodiment of your ideals and aspirations? 

A friend of Vladimir Mayakovsky, the artist illustrated his poems with structured graphic art of bright color, and designed covers of his books that reminded of Constructivist posters. 

Alexander Rodchenko designed newsstands and expressive inscriptions for the silent cinema screen. Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poem About It was published in 1923 with photo collage illustrations by Alexander Rodchenko, who conveyed the poet’s grotesque metaphors rather than the plot. One of the most prominent world photographers of the time, he looked for unusual foreshortenings and developed expressive and sharp outlook. He invented strict, rationalized furniture designs. In particular, Alexander Rodchenko designed a workers’ club interior for the International Exhibition of Decorative Art in Paris (1925).  
By all means Alexander Rodchenko approached art forms with technical forms as a way of overcoming traditional applied arts and as embodiment of rational, constructive and revolutionary ideals of modern era. 
In the 1930s, when these rigid Constructivist principles lost firm ground Alexander Rodchenko went on working as photographer, designing numerous photo albums and topical issues of the illustrated magazine The USSR at Building Site (1933-41). In the 1940s -1950s the innovative art by Alexander Rodchenko in the basis was repulsed by traditionalist official aesthetics. Driven out of art life, he kept creating for himself and resumed experimental painting.


Tags: Alexander Rodchenko Russian painters    

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