Rodchenko: Photography, 1924-1954

Alexsandr Lavrentiev, Author, Francis Nethercott, Translator, A. N. Lavrent'ev, Author
Alexsandr Lavrentiev, Author, Francis Nethercott, Translator, A. N. Lavrent'ev, Author Knickerbocker Press $49.95 (344p) ISBN 978-1-57715-002-2
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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Russian constructivist artist Rodchenko (1891-1956), known for his avant-garde paintings, collages, graphics, sculpture and stage designs, took up photography in 1924 and proceeded to transform the medium with his dynamic compositions, inventive use of photomontage and radical experiments with foreshortened perspective. In this comprehensive monograph, art historian Lavrentiev, the artist's grandson, presents more than 400 of Rodchenko's photographs, most of them in black and white, and discusses the artist's life, aesthetics and working methods. His text--in English, German and French--is lucid and perceptive. This is an impressive volume. There are brutally honest portraits of the artist's wife, friends and fellow artists, and bleak scenes of life in the former Soviet Union, with its gloomy streets, ugly industrial buildings, official sports events and somber military parades. The powerful photographs, distinguished by the artist's use of extreme angles that often distort the figures to the point of grotesqueness, are telling statements about the world in which Rodchenko lived. (Sept.)
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