Alexander Rodchenko Russian
Not on view
In 1921, the Soviet artist Aleksandr Rodchenko exhibited three monochrome paintings--"'Pure Red Color," "Pure Blue Color," and "Pure Yellow Color"--works intended to mark the end of painting. He also renounced the term "artist", choosing instead to be called "constructor" or "engineer" to reflect both the role of industry in society and the arts and his desire to work in the service of the government by producing posters and other advertisements intended to serve as propaganda. He also designed workers' uniforms and such things as letterhead and logos intended to support state industries and, by extension, the Soviet government. He created many pieces--logos, advertisements, letterhead for stationery, packages, posters, etc.--for the state-owned Russian airline Dobrolet State Merchant Air Service, beginning in 1922-1923, after Lenin instituted his New Economic Policy (NEP), which allowed for the creation of a limited number of private companies in the Soviet Union. Rodchenko and several other artists and intellectuals decided to work in the service of state-owned companies against which the private ones were competing to support the Soviet regime. The Dobrolet logos, pins, posters, and letterhead are all based on the Junkers aircraft, the basic unit in the airline. Rodchenko's interpretation ranged from more representational to more abstract and geometric, but in each iteration, he showed the aircraft at a diagonal to emphasize energy, movement, and technology.