Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, St. Petersburg 1891–1956 Moscow)
Gelatin silver print
22.8 x 29.5 cm (9 x 11 5/8 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005
Not on view
A founder of Russian Constructivism, Rodchenko embraced photography as a tool to revolutionize perception, using diagonal and unexpected vantage points to surprise the viewer into discovering the world anew. Here, he trains his lens on a student perched at the edge of a Moscow roof. If the steeply angled view aligns the work with Rodchenko’s revolutionary aesthetic, the focus on the man’s youthful body speaks to the burgeoning Soviet interest in athleticism and physical prowess. Throughout the 1930s, Rodchenko photographed gymnasts, rooftop sunbathers, and mass-sporting events.
Inscription: Photographer's stamp in black ink on print, verso C: "фото РОДЧЕНКО" [foto RODCHENKO]; inscribed in pencil on print, verso BC: "Из архива С.Б. Телнгартера [illegible initials] 6/vi/97г" [From the archive of S. B. Telingater [initials] 6 / VI/ [June] 97]; inscribed in pencil on print, verso BL: "Н. Аввакумов" [N. Avvakumov].
Telingater Archives; [Serge Plantureux, Paris]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, March 26, 1998
Solomon Benediktovich Telingater (1903–1969) was a graphic designer who studied at the Moscow Vkhutemas, where Rodchenko was a teacher. Telingater used photomontage in his design work.