Still image of Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life - 9 parts

This is the collection of video recordings from the Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 1: Welcome by Marko Daniel

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life

Part 1: Welcome by Marko Daniel

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 2: Steve Edwards

This is the video recording from the Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life, and is with Steve Edwards discussing Looking from the Left

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 2: Steve Edwards provides an introduction to this study day on Soviet Constructivism by asking what it means to look from the Left.

Steve Edwards teaches Art History at the Open University. His publications include: Art and Its Histories: a Reader (Yale University Press, 1999); and The Art of the Avant-Gardes, co-edited with Paul Wood (Yale University Press, 2004). His most recent publications include: The Making of English Photography, Allegories (Penn State University Press, 2006) and Photography: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2006). He is also a member of the editorial collective for The Oxford Art Journal.

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 3: Christina Lodder

This is the video recording from the Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life, and is with Christina Lodder discussing Liubov Popova: From painting to textile design

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 3: Christina Lodder

This paper will consider Popova’s engagement with textile design, focusing especially on the four years 1921–4, which include the paintings that she was producing over this period, the theoretical context of her entry into design, as well as the actual designs that she executed for the First Textile Printing Factory (formerly the Tsindel factory) in Moscow between the summer of 1923 and her death in 1924. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between the paintings and the designs, and the different ways in which the former informed the latter.  

Christina Lodder is Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She specialises in the history and theory of twentieth-century Russian art and design, and related European developments. Her numerous publications include a large number of articles and several substantial books: Russian Constructivism (1983) and Constructive Strands in Russian Art (2005), as well as Constructing Modernity: The Art and Career of Naum Gabo (co-author with Martin Hammer, 2000), Gabo on Gabo: Texts and Interviews (co-editor with Martin Hammer, 2000), and Rethinking Malevich (co-editor with Charlotte Douglas, 2007). She has also been involved as an advisor for several exhibitions and was a member of the curatorial team for the exhibition Modernism at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2006).

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 4: Alexander Lavrentiev

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 4: Alexander Lavrentiev discusses The Three Constructivisms of Alexander Rodchenko

Discussed are the three levels of the constructivist concept developed by Alexander Rodchenko. Constructivism as the way of life and behavior, organization of the artist’s own environment and his workshop. Constructivism as the practical environment for everyday life (architecture, interior, communication design) and ideally organized project planning.Constructivism as exploration through art. Graphic sources of constructivism: draft, geometrical schemes and the idea of a plane, scientific models and ways of representation in biology, astronomy, logic.

Alexander Lavrentiev is a professor at the Stroganov Moscow State University Arts and Industry, where he teaches history of design and photography. He also teaches photocomposition at the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia, Moscow. He curated sections of the exhibitions Moscow-Paris, From Painting to Design, Berlin-Moscow, and contributed to their catalogues. His publications include Varvara Stepanova (Milan and Cambridge, 1987), Russian Design. Tradition and Experiment (Berlin, 1995, together with Jury Nasarov), Rodchenko Photography (Cologne, 1995), The Constructivist Laboratory (Moscow, 2000), Alexander Rodchenko: Revolution in Photography (Moscow, 2008).

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 5: Round Table and QA

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 1: Round table discussion

Ben Borthwick, Assistant Curator at Tate Modern, has worked alongside Dr Margarita Tupitsyn on Rodchenko and Popova: Defining Constructivism.

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 6: Brandon Taylor


Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 6: Brandon Taylor From Line to Construction: Rodchenko’s Laboratory of Form

From the earliest straight-line paintings of 1917 and 1918 through to Rodchenko’s article ‘The Line’ of 1921, lines alone summarised the ambitions of Constructivism for efficiency, simplicity and functionality – and for energy, direction and speed, all metaphors of a new art and a new attitude to three-dimensional form in the real environment. We shall look carefully at the ‘laboratory’ attitudes of Rodchenko and Popova in their efforts to transcend painting, but with the resources of painting and the graphic process. The subsequent career of the line in modern art will be mentioned briefly: from ‘drawing in space’ to the rise of complex curvature in the more recent past.

Brandon Taylor is Professor Emeritus of History of Art at Southampton University, and Senior Research Fellow in Modern Art at Solent University, Southampton. His books include Art and Literature Under the Bolsheviks (2 Vols, 1991 and 1992), Art of the Soviet: Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in a One Party State (with M. Cullerne Bown, 1993), Art for the Nation: Exhibitions and the London Public (1999), Collage: The Making of Modern Art (2004), and Art Today (2005).

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 7: Margarita Tupitsyn

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 7:  Margarita Tupitsyn: A Russian Journey of the Grid

Constructivism had developed its own genealogy of the key modernist emblems such as the grid, and the monochrome as well as theorised on the status of the everyday object in the field of aesthetics. This talk presents a case of the resuscitation and redefinition of the grid’s visual and theoretical formats through the work of artists associated with the Moscow conceptual circle in its past and current ‘membership’.

Margarita Tupitsyn is an independent curator, critic, and scholar and a leading authority on twentieth-century Soviet and Russian art. She has written numerous essays and books on Russian and Western art, including Against Kandinsky (Hatje Cantz, 2006), Verbal Photography: Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov and the Moscow Archive of New Art (co-authored with Victor Tupitsyn) (Museu de Serralves, 2004), Malevich and Film (Yale University Press, 2002), and Margins of Soviet Art: Socialist Realism to the Present (Giancarlo Politi Editore, 1989). In 1981 she mounted Russian New Wave (Contemporary Russian Art Center of America, New York), the first exhibition of Moscow Conceptualism held in the West, and in 1986 curated the exhibition Sots Art at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Dr Tupitsyn was among the curators of Montage and Modern Life (1992), The Great Utopia (1992), and Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s (1999–2000). She has contributed articles to Artforum, Art in America, and Art Journal. Tupitsyn co-curated and edited the catalogue of Rodchenko & Popova: Defining Constructivism, held at the Tate Modern, London, in 2009.

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 8: David Mabb


Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 8: David Mabb discussing William Morris and the Constructivists. What went wrong?

David Mabb has recently discovered through extensive research of newly opened up archives in Kelmscott and Moscow, that William Morris, Kasimir Malevich and the Constructivists secretly developed an extensive collaborative body of work that has until recently remained completely hidden from public view. In his presentation Mabb examines some of the many paintings, videos and photographs that make up this collection. He will explain his own role in their discovery, mount a critique of the works’ limitations and suggest some possibilities for what the artists might have been trying to achieve.

David Mabb is a Reader in Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His projects include The Decorating Business, Oakville Galleries, Ontario (2000), A Factory As It Might Be or The Hall Of Flowers, Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario (2003), William Morris, ‘ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich’, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2004), Morris in Jaipur: The work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction, Jaipur Festival and British Council Gallery, New Delhi (2005), Art into Everyday Life, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2006) and A Miniature Retrospective and Rhythm 69, Jugendstilsenteret-Kunstmuseet Kube, Alesund, Norway (2008).

Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life – Part 9: Round Table and Q&A chaired by Gill Perry

Past Tate Modern conference Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life video recordings

Part 9: Round Table and Q&A chaired by Gill Perry

Gill Perry is Professor of Art History at the Open University. Her publications on twentieth-century and contemporary art include: Women Artists and the Parisian Avant-Garde: Modernism and ‘Feminine’ Art 1900-1920s, Manchester UP, 1995; Primitivism, Cubism and Abstraction, editor and co-author, Yale University Pres, 1993; Academies, Museums and Canons of Art, editor and co-author, Yale UP, 1999; Gender and Art, editor and co-author, Yale UP, 1999; Difference and Excess in Contemporary Art: The Visibility of Women’s Practice, editor, Blackwells, 2003; Themes in Contemporary Art, co-editor with Paul Wood, Yale UP, 2004.

This study day explores some of the issues raised by Tate Modern’s Rodchenko & Popova exhibition, including the relationship between art and every day life in post-war Russian constructivist art.