“Our duty is to Experiment.”
Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Even if you haven’t heard of the Russian photographer Alexander Rodchenko – who created his iconic photography during the first decades of the 20th century – there’s a chance you’ve come across his photographs. You may also be familiar with the artistic look he helped create as part of the early Avant Garde movement in Soviet Union. To this day, Rodchenko’s art has not lost any of its freshness and power, and it can still inspire us to look beyond the ordinary and find new ways of seeing the world.
Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (Алекса́ндр Миха́йлович Ро́дченко) was born on 5 December 1891 in Saint Petersburg, and died on December 3, 1956 in Moscow. He lived through the stormy years of the communist revolution in 1917 and was a supporter of its ideals. Before venturing into photography, Rodchenko worked as a graphic designer, painter and sculptor. He was involved in founding the artistic and architectural movement called constructivism, which emphasised the function of art as a social ‘construct’ and wanted to use it to instigate social change. Rodchenko married another constructivist artist, Varvara Stepanova (1894-1958), whom he met at the Kazan Art School in Odessa. The couple later lived in Moscow in an apartment owned by Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).