Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, St. Petersburg 1891–1956 Moscow)
Gelatin silver print
41.9 x 29.1 cm (16 1/2 x 11 7/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005
Not on view
In 1935, after four years of being ostracized for his innovative graphic formalism, Rodchenko was reaccepted by his peers and included in the Moscow exhibition "Masters of Soviet Photography." This print of a child bathing--the artist's five-year-old daughter Varvara Alexandrovna--was selected as one of the twenty-four photographs by Rodchenko included in the show. Although the image did not overtly contribute to the betterment of Soviet life and thus fell short of the official party mandate, its compensation was its humanity defined both by the subject's physical vulnerability and by her comic gesture; the child mimics the artist's pose--hand camera held to the eye--as seen in the shadow cast on the floor.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso: "Utrennii tualet // Alexander Rodchenko // 1935"; collection stamp of Rodchenko and Stepanova, verso.
(Christie's London, Oct. 29, 1992, lot 120); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alexander Rodchenko," June 24, 1998–October 6, 1998.
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. "Alexander Rodchenko," November 6, 1998–January 24, 1999.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 40," April 19, 2005–July 10, 2005.
Greenough, Sarah. On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography. 1st ed. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1989. pl. 254.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. pl. 174.