Alexander Rodchenko - Collection of Corbeau and Renard assembled by Gerd Sander Part II London Friday, May 16, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    From the Collection of the Rodchenko Family

  • Literature

    Thames & Hudson, A. Lavrentiev, Varvara Stepanova: A Constructivist Life, London, 1988, p. 148

  • Catalogue Essay

    The design of the alternative leaf-fly was made for the photo-album The Red Army published by Ogiz-Izogiz in 1938. The album was meant to praise and glorify the Red Army. The motif of five point star was intentional – it was the official symbol for the Red Army and it ran throughout the whole album. At the end, the photogram of stars was swapped for a more mechanised photogram of repeated airplanes and tank silhouettes on a photographic paper and then transferred in reverse.
    Varvara Stepanova and Alexander Rodchenko collaborated often on book designs in the 1930s. Through their collaboration on book designing, they showed a variety and flexibility of their design ideas. One of those was using an image as a visual metaphor, of which the five-point star symbol
    was one of celebrated examples.
    These extraordinary publications were the product of the 1930s, when the country entered into the phase of Five-Year Plans, and Joseph Stalin wanted to demonstrate the new, growing might of the Soviet Union not only to the people within the country but to foreign audiences also. These photo-albums were filled with visual documentation of the Soviet Union’s progress, were published in many languages and usually had distribution offices in other countries, making it easy to spread the images of the new country around the globe. The modernist aesthetic, invented in the 1920s by the Russian avant-garde, was modified and adopted for those photoalbums, borrowing its dynamic representation but putting it within a narrative context. In the 1930s these photo-albums were one of the few remaining outlets for those Russian avant-garde artists, who were by then criticised for their preference of aesthetic to content, to exercise their artistic thought and skill.



29.2 x 22.2 cm. (11 1/2 x 8 3/4 in).
Titled, dated and annotated in Russian in ink and copyright credit stamp on the verso.

£10,000 - 15,000 

Collection of Corbeau and Renard assembled by Gerd Sander Part II

17 May 2008, 3pm