Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko or Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956), was a Russian artist, sculptor, graphic designer, and photographer. One of the co-founders of ‘Constructivism’ and ‘Russian Design,’ he started his career as a painter, with ‘Abstraction’ as his forte. Dipped heavily in ‘Constructivism’ and ‘Productivism,’ his works were sophisticated, thoughtful, and some were even weird. At the beginning, he got abstract ideas from natural forms, which he would finally condense into geometric forms, with the help of compass and ruler. The geometric elements in Rodchenko’s paintings had all the minute details and were mathematically accurate. His first most famous painting was “Dance, an Objectless Composition,” created in 1915.
This painting was Alexander’s pre-revolution work, purely ‘Abstract’ and ‘Non-Objective,’ far more dynamic and influenced by the ‘Suprematism’ of Kazimir Malevich. A ‘Suprematist’ work was composed of geometric shapes, mostly circles and squares. Rodchenko always portrayed bold thoughts in his paintings. This can concretely be seen in his most famous painting, “Dance, An Objectless Composition.” The painting displayed Aleksander’s inclination for ‘European Modernism,’ ‘Italian Futurists’ to be specific. ‘Futurists’ always believed in moving speedily towards the promising future. They had a strong liking for depicting motion in their paintings.
Though, “Dance, an Objectless Composition” is a ‘Futuristic’ work however, coincidently Aleksander Rodchenko anatomizes the subject. The painting appears as his emotional outburst. In consonance with the title (Dance, An ‘Objectless’ Composition), no recognizable dancer can be seen in this painting. Only a divine spark of dance comes across. Probably the disturbing elements of this painting reflect the state of unrest of the then Russian society, which was moving close to revolution. Alexander endeavored to paint emotions and feelings. “Dance, An Objectless Composition,” appears roughly painted, with white background, where pencil lines were drawn, colored using primary & sub-primary colors, and beautifully spaced. The three components lines, color, and space played a vital role in Rodchenko’s painting.
After “Dance, An Objectless Composition,” at 22, Alexander Rodchenko drew his other most famous painting “Black on Black” in 1918. This painting was a good example of ‘Constructivism,’ blending art, design, science, and engineering together to strike an ultimate ‘supremacy of feeling.’ “Black on Black” exhibited an effective use of black and brown colors. It dealt with the physical qualities of painting, including the affect different pigments and mixtures had on the appearance of paint on canvas. In 1921, Alexander Rodchenko reduced most of his work and logically concluded it. This time his paintings were exhibited in ‘5×5=25’ exhibition, in Moscow, showing his three famous canvases:
o Pure Red Color
o Pure Yellow Color
o Pure Blue Color