Paper Example on Russian Constructivism

Published: 2021-07-26 02:43:55
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Harvey Mudd College
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The name of the artistic movement "Constructivism" was publicly announced in 1920, although it had existed for some time before, based on the manifesto drafted by Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner. The artistic avant-garde grows from the hand of the artist Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin, who had been influenced by Picasso's cubism which began in Paris in 1913 and 1914 (Rickey, 2015). Other references of the movement are Alexander Rodchenko, Mikhail Larionov, Liubov Popova and the aforementioned Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner.

The movement is born in the context of post-revolutionary Russia. It was specially made present after the October Revolution, the second phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The term "constructivism" is used today to separate "pure" art from the used as an instrument for social purposes, such as building of the socialist system in Russia.

The social issues of the moment presented a new way of spreading the message socialist all over Russia, with the intention of making it comprehensible to all social classes and to claim the new values that were being put in place. The name chosen for this movement and for this purpose was known as the constructivist (Rickey, 2015). This movement began in the period of abstract art. The Revolution adopted Constructivism (and suprematism of Malevich), especially to apply it in the graphic design, achieving great acceptance inside and outside of Russia. The new image of the USSR was included in posters and propaganda posters to influence society.

Analysis of the Constructivism

The constructivist manifesto poses an opposition to all kinds of art done until the moment. Explicitly, it refers to Cubism and Futurism. It refers to these two movements in a condescending way. It despises them in an almost polite way. It argues that, while the intentions of both movements were acceptable and interesting, they were not able to deliver what was expected of them.

It rescues the revolutionary air of futurism but, at the same time, describes it as insufficient ("one cannot build an artistic system on a single phrase revolutionary. ") It criticizes the attempt of futurism to reflect a purely optical reflection, that is, their attempt to shape the movement. Constructivists talk about the possibility that the futurist artists were "charlatans that tried to represent something that in reality, they did not quite understand (try asking a futurist as imagine the speed, and immediately appear a whole arsenal of crazy cars and deposits of squeaky wagons and intricate wires ...)(Cooke, 2012).

As for cubism, the manifesto states that the attempts of this school did not cause more than " new disenchantments "He shows interest in the movement, but does not adhere to it. They look shallow, decorative (Rickey, 2015). They believe that it began with good intentions, but was stuck in the analysis. Despite being harsh and critical of these two avant-garde, he shows them as the only interesting that has been achieved in the artistic field of recent years.

Constructivists talk about the re-birth of space and time. Raise, so revolutionary, a revaluation of life and the importance of art to be based on the perception of space and time, " the only forms on which life builds". They speak of beauty as something subjective and of the importance of respecting the essential rhythm of objects.

Elements of Constructivism

It renounces color as a pictorial element

It argues that color is nothing more than an optical effect, an outer and superficial impression. It has nothing to do with the essence of the object.

It renounces the line as a descriptive value

This principle relates to his intention to represent life itself. The descriptive does not is more than decoration. For constructivists, the line only has value as a way of direction of static forces and the rhythms of objects.

It renounces the volume as a spatial pictorial and plastic form

It refers to the impossibility of measuring space with volume. They talk about space as a continuous, infinite depth.

It renounces sculpture in terms of mass understood as a sculptural element

They reintroduce in the sculpture the line as direction affirms that the depth is a spatial form.

It renounces the artistic disenchantment that has been rooted for centuries in which static rhythms are the only elements of the plastic arts

It affirms that in their new form of art there is a new element of rhythm and of perception of time. There must be a relationship between thought and production.

In addition to these principles, Gabo and Pevsner talk about art as something that should not be superficial, which must be related to the day to day, with the work, the street, and the holidays. They say that this is how the "flame of life

It maintains that there must be a relationship between art and ideals, today. Art must be present where life goes. This has a lot to do with the situation revolutionary of the moment. Artists talk about war and revolution as purifiers of a future age.

Relationship between thought and production

Despite its overwhelming criticism of Cubism and Futurism, it can be seen in the works many traces of these movements, such as the figures and the representation of the movement: In addition, the movement was intended to be understandable to the entire people, but its character abstract and the simplicity of the forms they used were disconcerting (Benus, 2013).It intended to represent the people, to be of utility and social enjoyment, but some works were so far-fetched that the message could not be understood. For this reason many projects were not completed and although it theoretically claimed to be a social art, in practice did not come close to this idea. That is why there was a contradiction between theory and the art itself.

Constructivism in the Poster Advertising Leningrad Publishing House, Alexander Rodchenko, 1925

Alexandr Rodchenko is one of the great pioneers of graphic design, a discipline very spoiled by the Russian avant-gardes of the early 20th century, especially among artists belonging to Constructivism. This movement went a step further than Suprematism in claiming that art had to free itself from the tyranny of traditional media and become useful and functional. So the artists most committed to the cause began to design works of all kinds: theatrical stages, exhibition halls, books, posters, magazines.

Rodchenko started the revolution with a cartel that showed us a peasant woman with a red handkerchief in her hair screaming. The revolution started with a painting from a photograph of the artist who performed Lili Brik that same year. The advertising poster by Alexandr Rodchenko is one of the icons of this era. He made it for the Leningrad State Press, whose acronym is Lengiz, the word that appears repeated above and below a photo of the girl.

The handkerchief on her head indicates that she is a working-class girl, who is encouraging her comrades to cultivate their minds. The combination of black and white photography, geometric shapes of flat colors and typography is perfect. The eyes and the hand of the girl direct our eyes towards the message of the poster, without any element visually weighing more than the rest (Benus, 2013). The original photograph was made by Rodchenko himself, who was a photographer and sculptor, and the model is none other than the writer and filmmaker Lilya Brik, muse of the avant-garde artists of the moment, married to the editor Osip Brik and lover of the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (all at once and consented by both, that for that was a modern woman).

Some of the elements of constructivism noted include; combination of black and white photography and geometric shapes of flat colors and typography.

Say Yes, Shepard Fairey, 2008

Crime consolidates authority. The presidency of Bush was consolidated with a criminal war that left like balance the economic and moral crisis. We remember nothing about his campaign or his propaganda material. Propaganda is the part that most quickly fades out of a campaign and a government. In Mexico because of the irresponsibility of the IFE are traces of a shameful iconography that by its lack of aesthetics and intelligence predicts what we will live. Within the history of the image only the propaganda of Leninism has transcended its ideological condition to leave its esthetic proposal because it was realized by artists who worked for the system. It is what is happening today with the Obama campaign and the poster that shouts bluntly Say Yes.

Shepard Fairey is the creator of this poster, the fundamental artist of the urban guerrilla movement of art. It is the first time in decades that an artist designs a campaign poster, which means that regardless of what happens with Obama's career Fairey's work will transcend because it is art (Cooke, 2012). It is the phenomenon of the great portraits from Goya to Warhol, people are left with the work of the artist and makes abstraction of the portrayed. Fairey is Obey, a brand that we can follow throughout the geography of American cities. It's a face that is printed on stickers and posters and that warning or threatening says Giant, is coming. Obey learned that propaganda has a communication system that applied to art reaches thousands of people impacting on their memory.

Controversies created

In anarchist zeal he intervened bridges and spectacular with his monumental posters. Here the artist is the message, Obey had something to say and he had something to show: the images he created and with which he invaded walls in night escapades with a team of followers and their printers. The imitators did the rest; they spread in a country where it is a crime to stick things on the walls and on the public highway.

Obey- Fairey has been arrested by the police 13 times. When he began his work in many places they lived as an invasion, it was not the common graffiti that has no meaning, Obey is a face that looks impenetrable and serious. His style influenced by Russian propaganda and German expressionism is the image of Virgin Records. The corridors of Grand Central in New York became a gallery with the posters that made for the campaign of Stolichnaya, which exalts the product in the same way that would do it for a leader. The installation of the blocks of Gabriel Orozco in New York that no one saw and no one found out because it required warnings to look at it and texts that explain it, it is not art, did not question any aspect of society, did not provide an aesthetic reflection and is complicit in the attitude of doing without compromising. What you put on the street must say something without having to stop to receive an explanation.

When art uses propaganda, it strikes and reveals: in Union Square after oil prices entered that artificial rise, a poster of Obey Operation Oil Freedom dawned on a newsagent, the American eagle on a hand holding a hose framed petrol bombs, the real reason for the war. Obey makes art to denounce and uses the marketing that adores him to finance his work, the same artist who created the poster of the film Walk the Line manifested his opinion placing a work clandestinely (Benus, 2013). The image fulfilled the same role that the religious paintings in the creation of the myths, the virgins of Murillo gave face to a being of fiction that still has faithful.

That is the strength of art, of that transcendence is its impact. That is why the mediocrity and the lukewarmness of conceptual art, which always has a cryptic social discourse that no one sees and no one feels, which only their curators construct as priests of the lie, is inconceivable. Contemporary conceptual art is a sect where the only faith is cowardice.

You Could Have It So Much Better, Franz Ferdiand, 2005

One of the famous ba...

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