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Maker(s):Rodchenko, Aleksandr (formerly attributed to)
Culture:Russian (1891-1956)
Date Made:20th century
Materials:Oil on multi-plyed paperboard
Measurements:Stretcher: 34 x 17 3/4 in.; 86.4 x 45.1 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.24
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
Carefully balanced geometric forms and a vivid color palette characterize this painting. Rather than depicting a discernible object found in life, this work challenges the viewer to analyze the sensations prompted by interplays of color and form, light and dark, and different paint textures. Rodchenko probably used stencils to create shapes with hard edges and gradually fading colors. By rigorously pressing the stencil brush into the board he achieved a structured surface texture. Praising painters as “the only innovators of the Earth [who] play with inventiveness like jugglers with balls,” the artist built this imaginary construction on the flat surface using purely painterly methods. Intriguingly, the combination of angular and round shapes is also reminiscent of technology and engineering, a source of inspiration to Rodchenko and his Constructivist fellow artists who sought to extend the language of abstraction into design.

Radhika Garland, Russian Art Summer Intern, 2010

shape; abstract; design

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