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Rodchenko & Popova: Defining Constructivism till 17/05/09 at Tate Modern

From:     Elena Castro
Category: ArtExhibitions
Date:     14 May 2009
Time:     06:33 AM


"Rodchenko & Popova: Defining Constructivism", now in its last few days at Tate Modern, provides an exciting opportunity to view 
a diverse body of works by two remarkable artists.

The exhibition presents a range of works, from paintings and drawings to collages, posters, textiles, fashion designs, costume and 
set designs and furniture. Many strong pieces are included. Popova’s  "Painterly Architectonics" present a brilliant play of colour 
and form while her "Space-Force Constructions" on plywood challenge the status of traditional easel painting by using and 
actively emphasizing an everyday surface. Rodchenko’s designs for the illustrations of Mayakovsky’s poem "About This", are 
definitely among this viewer’s favourites. The theatrical set designs presented, especially Popova’s complex designs for "The 
Magnanimous Cuckold" and "Earth in Turmoil", present interesting ways of dealing with space and movement on stage and 
encourage active participation between actors and set.

Rodchenko’s and Popova’s faith in collectivity and collaboration and their conviction in the potential of art, especially abstraction, 
to transform daily life is evident throughout the exhibition. The range of activities they were involved in shows their direct 
involvement with everyday life and their dedication to a collaborative way of working. Nowadays, when market value and 
competition for fame greatly influence the art world, such faith in collective creativity, albeit utopian at times, evokes a certain 
amount of admiration. 

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