Search Results:

<< Viewing Record 170 of 1161 >>
View : Light Box | List View | Image List | Detailed

Maker(s):Vesnin, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
Culture:Russian, Soviet (1883-1959)
Title:Architectonic Composition
Date Made:1922
Materials:Ink and gouache over pencil on heavy paper
Measurements:Sheet: 13 1/8 x 9 9/16 in.; 33.3 x 24.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.237
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
In Aleksandr Vesnin’s “Architectonic Composition,” rectangular forms in ink render a dense matrix of expression, the overlapping shapes creating an illusion of depth. The work's title reaches abstractly toward architecture. Aleksandr Vesnin, a professor at the VKhUTEMAS from 1921–1924, was known for his concatenated interests in architecture and painting. The VKhUTEMAS served as an incubator for the teaching and practice of a variety of architectural viewpoints. Ultimately, formal discoveries in painting—particularly non-figurative painting—greatly influenced contemporaneous architecture.

Vesnin was a leading figure of Constructivism, a movement which to a large extent emerged in the 1910s in the work of Vladimir Tatlin, whose ideas were further developed by Aleksandr Rodchenko and other Russian avant-garde artists. Constructivism mirrored a technological society, paying particular attention to the functionality of all elements as well as to the careful organization of materials. It embraced skeletal shapes—often described as austere—in creating a visual language that drew from practical instruments, such as rulers and compasses. Constructivist architecture eschewed the ornate decorative elements of past designs, instead privileging orderly geometric forms and technical utility.

Julia Molin, 2023

abstract; nonrepresentational art; geometry

Link to share this object record:

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email

<< Viewing Record 170 of 1161 >>