The Hayward Gallery in London has an exhibition of the Russian photographer Alexander Rodchenko. I wasn’t aware of seeing his work before, though looking at his pictures created a strong feeling of familiarity.
Born in 1891, he was practicing as an artist at the time of the Russian revolution, and he felt his art needed to make a strong revolutionary statement. He worked in photomontage, creating new images by combining others’ photographs, and that got him interested in taking his own pictures.
His images are full of angles and abstraction – lots of strong lines, rarely vertical or horizontal; I couldn’t help wondering the extent to which these were created in the darkroom rather than the camera – it is a lot easier to move a piece of photographic paper to set up diagonals than to hold a camera at an angle to take a picture. Continue reading