New Alexander Rodchenko Book published by Skira
I've recently been fortunate to have been given a new book to review dedicated to the work by the Russian avant-garde photographer Alexander Rodchenko, published by Skira. It's a beautifully present large hardback book containing over 250 of his photographs and magazine covers. The book includes photos of urban landscapes, architecture and portraits. You will probably recognise many of the photos in this book including the famous photo titled Girl with a Leica in 1943 (shown below). The girl in the photo was called Yevgeni Lemberg and he taught her photography.
I'm particularly fond of this photo as it appeared in a Sunday colour supplement years ago and I cut the page out of the magazine and covered a wooden box with it and then varnished it. I still have it and still love it.
I love his use of lines, grids and perspective in his photographs. Shown here below is his Shukhov Tower from 1929. This is also featured on the front cover of the book.
Rodchenko was meticulous about labelling and storing his negatives and manuscripts and in the 1930s, he took photos every day. He made his own photo laboratory, painting the walls and ceiling black. He wrote in a diary entry in 1934 "I want to take some quite incredible photos that have never bee taken before, of life itself, absolutely real, photographs which are simple and complex at the same time, which will amaze and overwhelm people.I really must do that. Then it will be worthwhile working and fighting for Photography as an art".
I particularly enjoyed reading parts of this book that were written by his daughter. She gives a wonderful impression of a very kind, funny, compassionate, thoughtful and creative man. I think this shows in his photographs.
Not only is this an incredibly book visually, it's a really interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by 20th Century Design.