Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) was a founding member of Russian Constructivism - the avant-garde movement characterised by unembellished abstraction.
He was known for his politically motivated photography, posters, paintings, and sculpture. “The avant-garde of Communist culture is obligated to show how and what needs to be photographed,” he said of the medium. “What to shoot - is something every photo group knows but how to shoot - only a few know.”
Born in 1891 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He studied drawing and painting at the Kazan School of Fine Arts and architecture at the Stroganov School of Applied Art. An early influence came from Kazimir Malevich, whose Suprematist style contributed to Rodchenko’s adoption of an austere aesthetic and use of materials. In the late 1920s, he joined the October group, with members Diego Rivera, Gustav Klutsis, and Sergei Eisenstein, furthering his commitment to creating art for the working classes. Rodchenko died in1956 in Moscow.
Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Multimedia Art Museum (Moscow), the Museum Ludwig (Cologne), the Art Institute of Chicago, National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), Harvard University Art Museums (Massachusetts), New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe), National Gallery of Australia (Canberraamong), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Cleveland Museum of Art (Ohio), Princeton University Art Museum (New Jersey), State Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki, Greece), State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland) as well as at art galleries and private collections all over the World.