We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Aleksandr Rodchenko


5 Dec [in the Gregorian calendar] or 23 Nov [in the Julian calendar] 1891 – 03 Dec 1956

Alternate image of Composition by Aleksandr Rodchenko
Alternate image of Composition by Aleksandr Rodchenko
Alternate image of Composition by Aleksandr Rodchenko
  • Details

    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
    South Building, ground level, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © Estate of Alexander Rodchenko/RAO. Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Aleksandr Rodchenko

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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 special object.

    Alexandr Rodchenko was a founder of the constructivist movement - a key artistic language of Soviet Russia that he developed with others in the 1920s. His earlier paintings, including 'Composition' 1918, recall the formative influences of cubist and futurist art on constructivism. The composition of dynamic diagonals and shallow arcs penetrating cosmic spheres has surprisingly cubist connections and is reminiscent of Picasso and Braque's guitars in analytic cubist painting. The use of wood grain enhances this association.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

  • Provenance

    The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact provenance@ag.nsw.gov.au

    Friedman Collection, St Petersburg/Russia, no dates

    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

Other works by Aleksandr Rodchenko