Alexander Rodchenko

Born: 1891, St Petersburg
Died: 1956, Moscow

Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, photographer, designer. Studied under Nicolai Fechin and Georgy Medvedev at the Kazan School of Art (1910–14) and at the Stroganov School of Art and Industry in Moscow (1914–17). Met Varvara Stepanova at the Kazan School of Art (1913). Helped Vladimir Tatlin and Georgy Yakulov to design the interior of the Café Pittoresque in Moscow (1917). Worked for IZO Narkompros (1918), heading the Museum Bureau and Purchasing Commission (1918–21). Designed the costumes for Alexei Gan’s unstaged production of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel We (1920). Founding member of the Institute of Artistic Culture in Moscow (1920–24); replaced Wassily Kandinsky as chairman of the presidium and helped to organise the First Working Group of Constructivists (1921). Taught at the Moscow Proletcult School (1918–26), VKhUTEMAS (1920–30) and Moscow Institute of Polygraphy (1930s). Worked on spatial constructions (1918–21), gave up painting to concentrate on poster, book and film design (1921), took up photography (1924–42) and later returned to painting (1938), working in an Abstract Expressionist style (1940s). Worked for the Kinophot, LEF, New LEF and Ogonyok (1920s) and USSR in Construction (1930s) magazines. Member of October (1928–31). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1913). Contributed to the exhibitions of Store (1916), V, X, XI State Exhibitions (1919), Society of Young Artists (1920, 1921), 5 x 5 = 25 (1921), Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (1925) and October (1930).

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