Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) was one of the most influential members of the Constructivist movement, an early twentieth-century art movement that aimed to reflect modern industrial society and urban space. Rodchenko revolutionized a new style of politically-infused avant-garde art. Working in multiple mediums– photography, painting, collage, sculpture– he combined elements from each to make a unique approach to propagandist art. He often used various materials in his work, such as wood, linoleum, posters, advertisements, magazines, and precious materials. Rodchenko's work also revolved around theory beyond politics, using graphic design and photography to break down other critical thinking ideas.


Born in 1891 in St. Petersburg, Russia, he began his introduction to art by studying painting and drawing at the Kazan School of Fine Art. He was heavily influenced by the Suprematist movement, where he started using materials in his work. 1921, he founded the Constructivist Work Group, defining its manifesto and spurring the movement. At this time, he also began teaching elements of Architecture at Vkhutemas, a Russian state art and technical school. In the Mid to late 1920s, he began his most notable work in graphic design, illustration, and photography. Throughout the 1930s, he spent most of it expanding on the power of photography, getting heavily involved in Socialist Realism, where he used the camera as a tool for social commentary and influence. He eventually returned to the medium of photography, which he worked on until he died in 1956.


He has been highlighted in several exhibitions throughout his career– Cubism and Abstract Art in 1936 and Abstract Painting: Shapes of Things (1941) at the MoMA, Film und Foto: Internationale Ausstellung des Deutschen Werkbunds at the Städtische Ausstellungshallen in Stuttgart, Fotomontage at the Staatliche Kunstbibliothek in Berlin, Mezinárodní Vystava Fotografie in Prague. His works are held in large institutions, such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
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