Aleksandr Rodčenko (IT)
Texts by Ol’ga Sviblova
2016 MASI Lugano
ISBN 978-88-572-3139-6 I, -3175-4 E
Curated by Ol’ga Sviblova
An exhibition organised in collaboration with Moscow House of Photography/ Multimedia Art Museum
A leading member of the Russian avant-garde, Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) revolutionized graphic art, design, and photography. With more than three hundred works on display, including period prints, photomontages, magazines and posters from the artist’s era, 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. From the photomontages made for the poem Pro Eto (About This) by Vladimir Mayakovsky, to the covers for the magazine Novi Lef, the definitive reference for the revolutionary intelligentsia, to film posters and book illustrations, Rodchenko’s work bears witness to his collaborations and friendships, portraying not just a creative personality, but also the spirit of a unique moment in the history of the 20th century. In photography, Rodchenko’s outstanding portraits recorded the images of urban scenarios and architecture, reportages in factories and construction sites, the people and 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 catalogue (published by Skira) includes approximately 250 images, with text by curator Ol’ga Sviblova, the artist’s daughter Varvara Rodchenko, his grandson Alexander Lavrentiev, and Rodchenko himself.