Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Third Poster: Russian Constructivism

For my third poster, I am choosing to use the style, Russian Constructivism.

Some aspects of Russian Constructivism:
1) Originated in Russia from about 1919, and lasted until around 1934
2) It was art used for social purposes. Affected the art of the Weimar Republic
3) Uses an industrial, angular approach.
4) Began largely in sculpture, but moved onto two-dimensional art, such as books or posters.
5) The statements made by the Constructivism posters were designed to make a reaction. The viewer is supposed to get a socio-political message from it.
6) Uses many angles and mostly block colours.
7) Not many colours are used in a single design, but they are usually high contrasting. Low saturation colours.
8) Either photography or cartoon-style drawings are used.

Alexander Rodchenko
Alexander Rodchenko was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was considered one of the founders of Constructivism. His photography made social statements and were somewhat opposed to the painterly aesthetic. He chose to take photographs of subjects from unusual angles- usually above or below. He has become a great influence in 20th Century graphic designers. His portrait of Lilya Brik has inspired several works, including covers of music albums, such as Franz Ferdinand’s ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’.

Gustav Klutsis
Gustav Klutsis was a photographer and a member of the Constructivist avant-garde movement in the early 20th Century. He liked to work in a variety of experimental media, and used propaganda as a sign. He is commonly known for his photo montages, which were considered fresh, powerful and somewhat eerie. He is one of the four artists who is claimed to have invented political photo montage in 1918.

Stenberg brothers
Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg were Soviet artists and designers. The brothers began their work when they designed posters for the May Day celebration in 1918. They later staged their own ‘Constructivists’ exhibition, accompanied by a manifesto. The areas in which they worked best were theatre, costume and graphic design – particularly the graphic design of film posters which was encouraged by the interest in films in Russia at the time. Their style consists somewhat of collage. They assemble together portions of photographs and reprinted paper that had been created by others. Thus does their work have elements from Dada. They have also notably created posters for Sergei Eisentstein’s films.

Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Mayakovsky was a Russian poet and playwright, but also created graphic design posters in his short lifetime. He designed a Agitprop poster, which mixed both graphics and text. Agitprop is a portmanteau of agitation and propaganda. At the time, ‘propaganda’ in Russian did not bear negative connotations. Because Mayakovsky was a playwright and poet more so than a designer, he did not create many posters in his life, but the ones he did have become iconic.

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