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An image of Composition by Aleksandr Rodchenko

Aleksandr Rodchenko

(Russia also cited as 5 December 1891 – 03 Dec 1956)

Media category
Materials used
oil on wooden panel

93.0 x 51.5 cm sight (irreg.); 99.1 x 57.0 x 4.7 cm frame (irreg.)

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., black oil "A RODCHENKO [in Russian], 1918 ...".
Purchased 1997
Accession number
© Alexander Rodchenko/RAO. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Not on display
Further information

The composition is painted in transparent oils over a wooden panel possibly taken from a piece of furniture. The curvature of the panel and the grain of the wood have both been incorporated into the design.

This use of a found panel and its textures makes it a very beautiful object and an outstanding example of Russian Constructivism. The composition of dynamic diagonals and shallow arcs penetrating cosmic spheres has surprisingly Cubist connections. It is reminiscent of Picasso and Braque's guitars in Analytic Cubist painting. The use of wood grain enhances this association.

Provenance (3)

Friedman Collection, St Petersburg/Russia

Alexander Archipenko, late 1970s, St Petersburg/Russia, relative of the sculptor Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964)

Dorothee Altenburg, 1994-Dec 1997, Germany, Purchased by the AGNSW from Mrs Dorothee Altenburg 1997

Bibliography (3)

Edmund Capon, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 1998, 'Director's Statement', pg. 7-8, Sydney, 1998, 8 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 57 (colour illus.).

Andrew Spira, The avant-garde icon: Russian avant-garde art and the icon painting tradition, 'The iconic techniques of the avant-garde', pg.46-125, London, 2008, 93 (colour illus.). no.45