Aleksandr Rodchenko: The New Moscow by Margarita Tupitsyn
folio. pp. 120. illustrated. hardcover boards. dw. Munich: Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2001.
New in publisher's shrink wrap.
ISBN-10: 388814602X / ISBN-13: 9783888146022
City portraits were a favorite theme of avant-garde photographers. The booming industrial metropolises, whose faces were to change radically within a few years, called for a new vision and unaccustomed perspectives. This is revealed in The New Moscow, Aleksandr Rodchenko’s view of the capital of the then still young Soviet Union, whose dynamic awakening during the Socialist era inspired the avant-garde artist to create this unusual project. After being expelled from the October group in 1932, Rodchenko was commissioned to take pictures of Moscow. Out of this series Varvara Stepanova, his wife and colleague, compiled a narrative sequence of eight-nine gelatin silver prints adding to it some photographs from the October period. The photos of street parades, housing projects, technical buildings, new sport facilities, and factories taken between the late twenties and early thirties were meant to appeal on two levels: firstly for their new aesthetics—the famous Rodchenko perspective and secondly for their film-like sequencing. The artist prepared the series for a 1933 edition, which was never published. Many of his high quality vintage prints were preserved, however, and are now published in a complete reconstruction of The New Moscow.