Russian Constructivism


This Weeks Discussion was on Russian Constructivism. Russian Constructivism was a movement that was mainly active from 1913 to the late 1940’s. It was a movement that was created by the Russian Avant-grant, but was quickly spread to the rest of the continent. Russian Constructivism is mainly uses the use of basic colours and bold shapes that normally make their average designs. in the 20th century, Russian Constructivism had a massive effect on modern art and movements, which led on to influence trends such as Bauhaus. They mainly wanted to get a message across in the majority of their designs. There were a few famous designers in the region such as Vladimir Tatlin, Kasimir Malevich and El Lissitzky.

We decided to choose a question that would start us of on a discussion on this topic. So we decided to ask the question why Russian Constructivism is so structured.

We started to talk about the time Russian Constructivism started, when we discovered the movement first started in 1913, which was around the time of World War 1 and the Russian Revolution. This sort of explained why a lot of the designs were designed the way they were, due to era they were produced. The designs often included a lot of straight lines and geometric shapes with block colours, which we felt was very effective and very recognisable. Due to the Russian Revolution being around the time of this movement we started to think of ways in which Constructivism was designed the way it was. We noticed that Russian Constructivism was mainly done to get women votes and equal right, and also opportunities for the rich and poor, which helped us into believing that this movement in fact helped change in the rights. But the work, due to the era, was also propaganda as the work was very open and demanding, but also very different to the designs in World War as it was aimed towards the public and trying to get them to change. Russian Constructivism’s aim was to mainly give art a meaning instead of just having it for art’s sake, where the quote ‘Not Have Art, For Arts Sake’ came from.’ They all wanted people to see the message intended in the designs and not just see the designs for an attractive picture. This was all done by the way they designed their work, which was by using bold striking colours and geometric shapes that would engage the audience. We then felt that from this movement, design in general was completely revolutionized, as people started to design pieces of art with more meaning behind them. Therefore people starting to take art a lot more seriously. From this it led us onto talking about how it didn’t just have an influence on art, but also music, as you can see from the Franz Ferdinand Video I attached which shows the use of Russian Constructivism elements in it. the colours the movement use, Red, Black and White, we later found out where in fact colours from the government party that were running for the revolution at the time.

We then, as a group, came up with something we found interesting or learnt in today’s discussion. I said that I found it interesting how influential the movement was and how much it has changed design throughout the years, and how inspirational it has been for designers and even musicians, such as Franz Ferdinand.

i decided to insert a slideshow of my favorite Russian Constructivism images that i felt where the most successful and what helped show the style and theme of Russian Constructivism. As well as designs from the era of when this was all popular i have also inserted some recent design that have been used form bands (Franz Ferdinand and Rage Against), I decided to insert these as i liked how still to today Russian Constructivism is a big part of design and a lot of people are still influenced by it. These images, i feel, really express what Russian Constructivism was all about and really showed the main style of their designs.

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Overall i feel that Russian Constructivism has been very inspirational and still, from the images in the slideshow, is used today for modern day art. I feel the designs where very modern and relatable, which helps make it still to this day, very effective and creative. I also like how the colours are very strict, Red, Black and White which is very similar to the Bauhaus, but Russian Constructivism is much more modern, and a lot more relatable as a lot of it was displayed for public awareness, where as now it is just art. The colours are very bold and striking, but this could have possibly been down to the fact that the designs where for public awareness, so the aim was to grab people attention.


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