“Into Production!”: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism
Poster by Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956) and Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)
Aleksandr Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists (Productivism) 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 down 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.
Originally Rodchenko studied fine art and painting, but later gave that up for graphic design. The work that got him noticed was his graphic poster designs. His work shows great use of type, such as the scale he uses and the movement it seems to create. He worked with the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky creating a series of advertising posters. Mayakovsky wrote the text and slogans for the posters and became a close friend. Rodchenko also created magazine cover layouts and illustrations, for this he liked using a photomontage method. Their work introduced modern art into Russian advertising. In his poster designs Aleksandr Rodchenko uses strong contrasts, bold colours and arranges them so it gives a maximum impact which contrasts with the photomontage. He also used bold sans-serif type which was used throughout Russia. He also uses figure ground in his work, which is a technique which are still using today as doing this makes the image look more satisfying.His work inspired many people even today. Constructivism didn’t like art for the sake of art, they thought that art should have a deeper meaning and purpose.