A leading member of the Russian avant-garde, Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) revolutionized the worlds of graphic art, design, and photography. With more than three hundred works on display, including period prints, photomontages, magazines and posters from the artist’s day and age, visitors can fully capture the strength of this innovator, and appreciate the charisma that had such a great impact on his fellow artists, as well as on the literati, filmmakers, and intellectuals who accompanied him along the way. From the photomontages made for the poem Pro Eto (About This) by Vladimir Mayakovsky, to the covers for the magazine Novi Lef, a reference point for the revolutionary intelligentsia, to film posters and illustrations for books, Rodchenko’s works bear witness to his collaborations and friendships, portraying not just a creative personality, but also the spirit of an unrepeatable moment in the history of the twentieth century. In the field of photography, Rodchenko’s outstanding portraits recorded the images of urban scenarios and architecture, reportages in factories and construction sites, the people and the spirit of a time of great hope as well as contradiction. Above all, Rodchenko subverted the rules of photography: the images he created, characterized by uncharted viewpoints, angles and diagonals, are the clearest evidence we have today of the desire for the modernization of art and the world that was the driving force behind the artists of the Russian avant-garde. Completing the exhibition are three Spatial Constructions, aerial sculptures obtained by assembling basic geometric forms, three thought-provoking examples of Constructivism made by transforming the rational and productive principles of industry.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (published by Skira) including approximately 250 images, as well as texts written by the curator Ol’ga Sviblova, the artist’s daughter Varvara Rodchenko, his grandson Alexander Lavrentiev, as well as by Rodchenko himself.