Constructivism – Brett

Constructivism art refers to the optimistic, non-representational relief construction, sculpture, kinetics and painting and was first created in Russia in 1913.

Russian sculptor Vladimir Tatlin, during his journey to Paris, discovered the works of Braque and Picasso. When Tatlin was back in Russia, he began producing sculptures out of assemblages, but he abandoned any reference to precise subjects or themes. Those works marked the appearance of Constructivism.

After the 1917 Revolution, Tatlin (considered the father of Russian Constructivism) worked for the new Soviet Education Commissariate which used artists and art to educate the public. During this period, he developed an officially authorized art form which utilized ‘real materials in real space’. His project for a Monument of the Third International marked his first foray into architecture and became a symbol for Russian avant-garde architecture and International Modernism.

Early modern movements around WWI were idealistic, seeking a new order in art and architecture that dealt with social and economic problems. They wanted to renew the idea that the apex of artwork does not revolve around “fine art”, but rather emphasized that the most priceless artwork can often be discovered in the nuances of “practical art”.

Constructivism was an invention of the Russian avant-garde that found adherents across the continent. Germany was the site of the most Constructivist activity outside of the Soviet Union to Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus, a progressive art and design school sympathetic to the movement, same as other art centers, like Paris, London, and eventually the United States.


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