Russian constructivism aspired to bring “art into everyday life” and to de-fetishize the art object. Although Stalinism shattered these dreams in the late 1920s, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, El Lissitzky and their cohorts imbued their art with a vision of a dawning revolutionary society intoxicated with the promise of technology.
Featuring essays by Soviet, European and U.S. scholars, this intriguing monograph accompanies an exhibition organized by the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery, the Soviet Ministry of Culture and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. It profiles familiar and less well known constructivist artists and includes hitherto untranslated or unpublished manifestos alive with the fervour of the movement.
The constructivist impulse is traced through Russian paintings, sculpture, graphics, collages, posters, clothing and building designs, to latter-day echoes in minimalism and the work of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, David Smith and Anthony Caro.