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Vladimir Mayakovsky

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1924, printed 1940s

Artist:

Alexander Rodchenko
Russian, 1891-1956

About this artwork

Before turning to photography, Aleksandr Rodchenko was best known for the painting and innovative graphic design he made in the early years of Soviet Russia. He was among the pioneers of photomontage, which combined text and bold color with found photographs. His first foray into making photographs was a series of six portraits of the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose forceful look he incorporated in book cover designs from 1925 to 1929.

After Mayakovsky’s death in 1930, Rodchenko was induced to turn several of his photographs into commemorative images for the newly lionized poet. The photograph’s afterlife as a popular icon was far from Rodchenko’s earlier aims, since he argued that the camera captures moments of a life rather than summarizes a person’s character. “Crystallize man not by a single ‘synthetic’ portrait,” he wrote in 1928, “but by a whole lot of snapshots taken at different times and in different conditions.”

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Photography and Media

Artist

Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko

Title

Vladimir Mayakovsky

Place

Russia (Artist's nationality)

Date

Made 1924

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Image/paper: 23.8 × 16.6 cm (9 3/8 × 6 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gifts of David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg, the Sandor Family Collection in honor of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Michael D. Delman, Reva and David Logan, and Sherry and Alan Koppel; purchased with funds provided by an anonymous donor; through prior purchase with Special Photography Acquisition Fund

Reference Number

2015.192

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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