Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko

There are no better dummies than old suckers.

In New York summer 1998 on a visit to MOMA, was introduced to the work of Alexander Rodchenko for the first time “in the flesh” having witnessed so many pieces influenced by his style / vision. The exhibition seemed incongruous in its location somehow, and we were two among the few who were circulating round, most being happier to spend time with the Hoppers and Jasper Johns, but they were missing out.

Books in all sectors of knowledge

Rodchenko’s work is surely as vital today as when it was originally created, but time has given it a sheen of vibrant optimism which makes the pieces almost numinous. Sadly Rodchenko was not appreciated in the Stalin era however and like his contemporary Eisenstein, fell out of favour.

A brief bio from wiki –

Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Ро́дченко, 5 December 1891 – December 3, 1956) was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.
Rodchenko was 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 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.”

Buy cheap bread!

Rodchenko and Stepanova

Delighted to see there is currently an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery – surely well worth a visit if you can get down between now and April!

Look familiar?

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