About This Artwork

Aleksandr Rodchenko
Russian, 1891–1956

Pole Vault (Stabhochsprung), 1936

Gelatin silver print
29.1 x 39.5 cm (image/paper)
Unmarked recto; stamped verso, lower left, in blue ink: "PHOTO [sideways] RODCHENKO [in a logo?]

Wirt D. Walker Endowment, 1989.486

Initially trained as painter and graphic designer, the Russian artist Alexander Rodchenko was inspired to turn to photography by German Dadaist collage. As a member of the Productivist group in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution, he sought to make art that was socially and politically useful rather than purely theoretical or formal. Rodchenko believed his photographs of industrial urban environments, known for their dramatic angles and extreme close-ups, could revolutionize the way people saw the world, thereby helping to usher in the new era of the communist state.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

AIC, "Sights Unseen: Photographs from the Permanent Collection," October 16-March 13, 1994.

AIC, "The Human Form Divine: The Body as Seen by the Camera," February 8–June 1, 2003. (Colin Westerbeck)

AIC, Gallery 10 Permanent Collection Rotation, November 3, 2012–February 6, 2013.

Publication History

Wolf, Sylvia. 1994. "Sights Unseen: Photographs from the Permanent Collection." Exh. cat. The Art Institute of Chicago. n.pag.

Wood, James N. and Teri J. Edelstein. 1997. "The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide." Publications Department of the Art Institute of Chicago. p 182.

Wood, James N. 2000. "Treasures from The Art Institute of Chicago." Hudson Hills Press, Inc. p. 274.

Wood, James N. 2003. "The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide - Revised Edition." Publications Department of the Art Institute of Chicago. p 182.




View mobile website