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Politically Motivated Artworks of Alexander Rodchenko


Art has no place in modern life. It will continue to exist as long as there is a mania for the romantic and so long as there are people who love beautiful lies and deception… Every modern cultured man must wage war against art, as against opium… Photograph and be photographed.

Alexander Rodchenko

Alexander Rodchenko is recognized as one of Russia\’s most energetic and progressive artists of the twentieth century. He continues to be widely regarded as one of the founding members of the Constructivist movement and the originator of contemporary Russian design, with work spanning painting, graphic design, photography, and advertising. He significantly contributed to the visual framework of Russian social and political principles by rejecting conventional art forms, which had an impact on the growth of European Modernist art.   His photography lacked an artistic aesthetic and was conceptually and socially engaged. Rodchenko made an effort to abandon the conventional aesthetic and defy expectations. His innovative approach to photography transformed the medium.


Alexander Rodchenko was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on December 5, 1891, to Mikhail Rodchenko and Olga. He was a student of Nikolai Feshin and Georgii Medvedev at the Kazan Art School in 1910. He had been studying art at Moscow\’s Stroganov Institute for five years. He began his early abstract sketches at this point.   Rodchenko\’s artwork was displayed at a Vladimir Tatlin exhibition in 1916. Art movements like Cubism and Futurism also had an impact on his work. He was a painter, sculptor, and designer of posters for factories, enterprises, and movie theatres.


Rodchenko created works that had an enduring influence on art and design before he gave up painting in favour of photography and photomontage. Working in abstract painting and sculpture, Rodchenko and the Constructivists created works that stripped art to its most basic forms. In response to Kazimir Malevich\’s \”White on White\” paintings from the same year, he created the \”Black on Black\” series in 1918, which featured arcing black figures in slight tone variations that highlighted the painting\’s physical surface. Rodchenko\’s political ideas, which were based on a methodical logic that was socially expressed in the Communist agenda, were reflected in this grounding in material objecthood.


Three coloured squares—Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color, and Pure Blue Color—were created by Rodchenko in 1921. Rodchenko declared the end of painting with these monochrome works, saying he had \”reduced painting to its logical conclusion… it\’s all done.\” basic hues. There has to be no more representation because every plane is a plane. Following this condemnation, Rodchenko reaffirmed his ideological convictions and started using graphic design to incorporate art into daily life. Rodchenko, who belonged to the Productivist group and believed in the importance of art in daily life, focused on creating more popular media, like posters, books, and films, which he frequently used to advance Bolshevik political objectives. His work began to centre on photography, especially photomontage, and it was published in several Soviet publications and periodicals. His design ideals were also incorporated into commonplace items like clothing and furnishings. He was immensely popular and praised for his work.


Painting, photography, and graphic design were three of modernism\’s primary visual disciplines that Alexander Rodchenko\’s artwork helped redefine. The artist expanded and investigated the key terms used in an abstract composition in his paintings. He influenced painters like Ad Reinhardt and the 1960s Minimalists with his series of entirely abstract proto-monochrome paintings. He pioneered compositional concepts in the realm of photography that continue to shape the idea of modern photographic art in numerous ways.



  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Rodchenko
  2. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/rodchenko-alexander/
  3. https://www.rbth.com/arts/334558-alexander-rodchenko-soviet-avant-garde

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