Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, St. Petersburg 1891–1956 Moscow)
Gelatin silver print with applied color
Image: 20.6 x 14.3 cm (8 1/8 x 5 5/8 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005
Not on view
Between 1926 and 1932, in addition to his activities as a photographer, poster artist, and teacher, Rodchenko designed costumes and sets for both the theater and the cinema. This photograph is one of three prints that relate to his design commission for Leonid Obolenskii's film "Albidum" (1928). It was probably printed from a projection copy, or film positive, rather than from the original film negative, and its values are reversed, producing a negative print. The graphic impact of the reversal charges the dancers with a pulsing energy and allowed Rodchenko to apply color to the costumes which he had designed. The iridescent aura, in effect, returns the dynamic dance to "living color." "Foxtrot" was most likely printed in 1935 for the exhibition "Masters of Soviet Photography," which included Rumba, another negative print of dancers from "Albidum."
[JLR; Waking Dream, pp. 356-357]
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Inscribed, recto, lower right: "P.1935"; inscribed in pencil, verso: "Fokstrot"; collection stamp of Rodchenko and Stepanova, mount, verso
(sold, Christie's, London, Oct. 29, 1992, sale 4832, lot 124); 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.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "As It Happened: Photographs from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 7, 2002–August 25, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 67," February 9, 2015–June 8, 2015.
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. no. 175.