Alexander Rodchenko

"... one of the great innovators of 20th-century avant-garde art and one of its most versatile practitioners. Having first gained international acclaim as a painter, sculptor and graphic designer, Rodchenko took up photography in the early 1920s..."

"Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko 5 Dec. [O.S. 23 Nov.] 1891 – Dec. 3, 1956), Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. ... one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.

... one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles—usually high above or down below—to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: 'One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.'

... born in St. Petersburg to a working-class family who moved to Kazan after the death of his father, in 1909. He become an artist without having had any exposure to the art world, drawing much inspiration from art magazines. ...

Much of the work of 20th century graphic designers is a direct result of Rodchenko's earlier work in the field. His influence has been pervasive. American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger owes a debt to Rodchenko's work.


In 1921, Rodchenko executed what were arguably some of the first true monochromes (artworks of one color). These paintings were first displayed in the 5x5=25 exhibition..."
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First Collected by

Martha Schulman


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