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Art History: Constructivism: (1913 - 1930)

Founded in 1913 by Vladimir Tatlin, the Russian Constructivist movement developed from Cubism, Italian Futurism, and Suprematism in Russia, Neo Plasticism in Holland, and the Bauhaus School in Germany. The term Constructivism is used to define non-representational relief construction, sculpture, kinetics, and painting. As a response to changes in technology and contemporary life, it advocated a change in the art scene, aiming to create a new order in art and architecture that referenced social and economic problems. Brothers Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner also supported the movement, infusing sculptural elements from cubism and futurism with an allusion to architecture, machinery, and technology. The movementís first Constructivist manifesto was written in 1921 when the First Working Group of Constructivists was formed in Moscow. The movement later spread to Holland and Germany before gaining international popularity. The style was initially supported by the Soviet Regime, but later was deemed unsuitable for mass propaganda reasons. Following this decree, Gabo and Pevsner went into exile while Tatlin stayed in Russia. The Constructivist movement was also prominent in theatrical scene design, mostly spread by the efforts of Vsevolod Meyerhold.

Constructivism was one the first movements to adopt a strictly non-objective subject matter. The movementís work was mainly geometric and precisely composed, sometimes through mathematics and measuring tools. They favored the basic shapes of squares, rectangles, circles and triangles. Constructivists used an array of materials including wood, celluloid, nylon, plexi-glass, tin, cardboard, and wire welded or glued together. Later in the development, Constructivists incorporated aluminum, electronics, and chrome. In using these forms and materials, their aim was to depict the dominance of the machine in the modern world and its triumph over nature.

Artists: (biography & artworks)

Bergmann-Michel, Ella - 1896 - 1971
Gabo, Naum - 1890 - 1977
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo - 1895 - 1946
Pasmore, Victor - 1908 - 1998
Pevsner, Antoine - 1886 - 1962
Popova, Liubov - 1889 - 1924
Rodchenko, Aleksandr - 1891 - 1956
Schlemmer, Oskar - 1888 - 1943
Tatlin, Vladimir - 1885 - 1953
Torres Garcia, Joaquin - 1874 - 1949
Bergmann-Michel, Ella - 1896 - 1971
Gabo, Naum - 1890 - 1977
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo - 1895 - 1946
Pasmore, Victor - 1908 - 1998
Pevsner, Antoine - 1886 - 1962
Popova, Liubov - 1889 - 1924
Rodchenko, Aleksandr - 1891 - 1956
Schlemmer, Oskar - 1888 - 1943
Tatlin, Vladimir - 1885 - 1953
Torres Garcia, Joaquin - 1874 - 1949

 

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Last updated and verified on: Tue 22 Sep 2009 11:29:17 AM EDT

 

 

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