Alexander Rodchenko’s Works: Essay

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Rodchenko’s initial work is formally dazzling, but a little distant and remote, it seems that it is difficult to relate to his earlier work. However, this began to change when he began to mature and reached the pinnacle in a more overall style with his photomontage work. (Hutchings 304) The prime example again, is his photograph montage for Mayakovsky’s Pro eto are interesting. He combined photos of the poet, the latter’s love Lily Brik, assorted items cut out of magazines and originate the visual equivalent of Mayakovsky’s tormented, tragicomic verses. For instance, Rodchenko has arranged a 50-foot Mayakovsky standing gloomily on a bridge, arctic wastes, polar bears, and another shot of the normal-sized poet with his heads in his hands and a boat actually racing through icy waters. The sudden contrast and shifts in scale of Rodchenko’s collection rightly evoke the glowing imagery and graceful rise of Mayakovsky’s poetry. Through the photomontage, Rodchenko first used photography as an expansion of the graphic arts as an unlimited resource of images that sought variation, repetition, and restructuring. This new, untried technique to the medium continued when Rodchenko started to make photographs of his own. In the photomontage, Rodchenko’s artistry has an alternative to the process that was very dramatic in its sharp contrasts. On one extreme, he has condensed pictorial art to the methodical appearance of line, form, surface, and shade. On the other extreme, he has merged these essentials with recurring style in service to community design and exhibit.

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