Definition: A style or movement in which assorted mechanical objects are combined into abstract mobile structural forms. (Google Dictionary)
Aleksander Rodchenko was a Russian Constructivism artist and designer across many medium such as photography, painting and advertising. Rodchenko was influenced by the Russian revolution of 1917. He was member of the Productivists who pushed art into everyday lives, which is what modern-day graphic design is (Design History).
Rodchenko’s focus was on painting before he moved to the career of a graphics design. Most of Rodchenko’s work was for Dobrolet, a Russian airline company, he produced logos, poster, advertisement and packaging for them. He also created many book covers, illustrations and photo-montages for other clients (Design History).
In 1921 Rodchenko declared ‘The End of Painting’ when he exhibited three monochromatic canvases of the colours red, blue and yellow. He stated that he “…reduced painting to its logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red, blue, and yellow” (The Independent, 27/1/2009).
Rodchenko has influence many designers in the 20th Century such as Barbara Kruger, plus a number of album covers among them are Mike and The Machanics Word of Mouth Album and the cover of Franz Ferdinand You Could Have Had It So Much Better, (Wikipedia) both have variations of Rodchenko’s Ad for Lengiz (Armstrong and Lupton:52).
Contemporary Constructivism – Barbara Kruger
Barbara Kruger is an American artist and designer that is influenced by Russian Constructivism and the designer Rodchenko. Kruger had a career in magazine design at Condé Nast Publications. She initially worked at Mademoiselle Magazine and later at House and Garden, Aperture, and other publications. (Kruger).
Kruger focuses her work around feminism, consumerism, classicism and individual desire and autonomy. Kruger layers “photographs from existing sources with pithy and aggressive text” and her work consists of trademark black letters with a red background(Kruger).
More on Barbara Kruger here.
Design is History, Aleksander Rodchebko, http://www.designishistory.com/1920/aleksander-rodchenko/ [7/10/2011]
The Independent, Drawing a blank: Russian constructivism makes the late Tate debut, Akabr A, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/drawing-a-blank-russian-constructivist-makes-late-tate-debut-1516801.html [7/10/2011]
Wikipedia, Aleksander Rodchenko, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Rodchenko [7/10/2011]
Kruger, Barbara Kruger Bio, http://www.barbarakruger.com/biography.shtml [7/10/2011]
Armstong H, Lupton E, Graphic Design Theory: Reading form the Field, 2009, Princeton Architectural Press: New York