Tuesday 12 November 2013

Alexander Rodchenko and Margaret Bourke-White

C: i always appreciate people who make art and wish them to be succeed.
i: i do not care much about the succeed, it does not matter it is "art" or "trash" at the end, i wish more people can enjoy art.

When i walked through the photographs of the Russian Avant garde photographer Alexander Rodchenko, i released that i was always fascinated about the relationship between art and people's lives, how one changed others or the other way round. Both of them were revolutionary and breaking the bounds in times.

Alexander Rodchenko
Stairs 19309

Alexander Rodchenko
Radio Listener 1929

The current exhibition "Generator of Art" in Kjarvalsstaðir exhibits a large collection of Alexander Rodchenko's photos at Kjarvalsstaðir Iceland. His photography had an avant dimension of seeing, the people, buildings and landscape projected a new vision of photography, known as Constructivist and Productivist at that time, his slanting diagonal camera framing still popular, or sometimes deluged nowadays.

Early works of Alexander Rodchenko are abstract and enclosed the profound inner romanticism, eg. Stairs 1930. He is the only one who have left most records of the Constructivist artists in his time.

His later photography projects the changes of people's lives and technology in 1930s, although some of them are propaganda to me, they still have the master quality. However, according to Rodchenko's diary on 12 February 1942: "Art is service of the people, but the people are being led goodness knows where. I want to lead the people to art, not use art to lead them somewhere. Was I born too early or too late? Art must be separate from politics…" (Александр Родченко. Опыты для будущего. M., 1996. C. 199-200; Aleksandr Rodchenko. Experiments for the Future. New Yorl, MoMA, 2005)

Rodchenko's photographs reminded me Margaret Bourke-White's photography in LIFE magazine 1930s-50s, which exhibited in Berlin at Martin Gropius Bau on March this year.

Margaret Bourke-White
Russischer Arbeiter auf dem Generatorengehäuse des Dnjeprostroj-Wasserkraftwerks,
Sowjetunion Saporischschja (heute Ukraine), ca. 1930


Alexander Rodchenko

Margaret Bourke-White