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of 1920s
Russian Constructivism
 A movement with origins in Russia,
Constructivism was primarily an art and
architectural movement.
 Constructivist architecture is a form of modern
archicture that started in former USSR in 1920s
that emerged from constructivist art.
 It was a movement created by the Russian avant-
garde, but quickly spread to the rest of the
continent. Constructivism was the last and most
influential modern art movement
 Constructivist art is committed to complete
abstraction with a devotion to modernity, where
themes are often geometric, experimental and
rarely emotional.
 Objective forms carrying universal meaning
were far more suitable to the movement than
subjective or individualistic forms
 Constructivist themes are also quite minimal, where the artwork is
broken down to its most basic elements
 New media was often used in the creation of works, which helped to
create a style of art that was orderly.
 Principles of Constructivism came from Suprematism, Newo
Plasticism and Bauhaus.
 The architectural movement didn't last long, only till 1932 but the
effects of it are still seen today.
 Constructivist art applied 3d cubist vision to abstract and non-
objective elements.
 The style combines straight lines and various forms such as
cylinders, squares, rectangles, cubes.
 Elements of Constructivst art/architecture are:
 Minimal, geometric forms.

steel framing and

 Constructivism explores opposition between different forms as well as the
contrast of different surfaces: walls and windows. Windows are usually
square or rectangular. Often wrapped around an entire building. There are
round windows as well, usually at the top of the building.
 Concstuctivist architecture movement emphasized and took advantage of
the possibilites of new materials. Steel frames were seen supporting large
areas of glass. Joints between various parts of buildings were exposed
rather than concealed.
 Many buildings had balconies and sun decks. Large windows in order to let
the as much light as possible.
 It was an entirely new approach to making objects, one which sought to
abolish the traditional artistic concern with composition, and replace it with
 Constructivists not only employed the plastic arts as their means of
expression, but expanded to the areas of industry, graphic design and the
performing arts
 Constructivists proposed to replace art's traditional concern with composition
with a focus on construction. Objects were to be created not in order to
express beauty, or the artist's outlook, or to represent the world, but to carry
out a fundamental analysis of the materials and forms of art, one which might
lead to the design of functional objects.
 Constructivist art often aimed to demonstrate how materials behaved - to ask,
for instance, what different properties had materials such as wood, glass, and
 The seed of Constructivism was a desire to express the experience of modern
life - its dynamism, its new and disorientating qualities of space and time.
 Constructivists were to be constructors of a new society - cultural workers
on par with scientists in their search for solutions to modern problems.
 Constructivism influenced other art movements of the twentieth century,
such as Bauhaus and De Stijl.
 Famous artists of the Constructivist movement include Vladimir Tatlin
, Kasimir Malevich, Alexandra Exter, Robert Adams, and El Lissitzky
 He was a Soviet painter and architect.
 Vladimir Tatlin was a founder-member of
Soviet Constructivism, a form of avant-garde art-
best described as abstract sculpture made from
industrial-type materials.
 Initially trained as an icon painter, he soon
abandoned the traditionally pictorial concerns of
painting and instead concentrated on the
possibilities inherent in the materials he used -
often metal, glass, and wood.
 Influenced at this time by folk art and other
Russian themes, he began exhibiting his primitive
 He wanted above all to bend art to modern
purposes and, ultimately, to tasks suited to the
goals of Russia's Communist revolution.
 He is remembered most for his Monument to the
Third International.
 His work shows a desire to abolish the traditionally representational
function of art and put it to new, more practical uses.
 Tatlin's work marks an important early stage in the transformation of
Russian art, from modernist experiment to practical design.
 Tatlin's approach was distinctively shaped by his desire to bring lessons
learned in the artist's studio to the service of the real world.
 Tatlin's training as an icon painter may have been significant in suggesting
to him how unusual materials might be introduced into painting.
 Tatlin’s tower, or the project for the Monument to
the Third International was a design for a grand
monumental building by the Russian artist and
architect Vladimir Tatlin.
 The Monument to the Third International was a
grand un-built monumental building.
 It was planned to be erected in St. Petersburg after
the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
 In 1919 and 1920, Vladimir Tatlin produced sketches
and a model for what was projected to be a
Monument to the Third International.
 This was planned to be taller than that great symbol
of modernity, the Eiffel Tower.
 Its spiraling structure, however, was to lend the
Monument a structural dynamism lacking in Eiffel's
more symmetrical (and more stable) design.
 he developed an officially authorized art form which
utilized 'real materials in real space'. His project for a
Monument of the Third International marked his first
foray into architecture and became a symbol for
Russian avant-garde architecture and International
tatlin's Constructivist tower was to be built
from industrial materials: iron, glass and steel.
In materials, shape and function, it was
envisaged as a towering symbol of modernity.
 It would consist of a mighty steel girder
thrusting 400m into the air at a 65 degree angle
from the horizontal.
 the design of the monument consists of three
large glass structures, erected by means of a
complex system of vertical struts and spirals.
 The lower storey, which is in the form of a
cube, rotates on it’s axis at the speed of one
revolution per year- a venue for lectures,
conferences and legislative meetings,
 The next storey, which is in the form of
a pyramid, rotates on its axis at the rate of one
revolution per month- venue for executive
 Finally, the uppermost cylinder which rotates
at the speed of one revolution per day is
reserved for information services: an
information office, a newspaper and it will also
have a telegraphic office and an apparatus that
can project slogans on to a large screen.
 They are able to move at different speeds by means of a special
 it would act as a kind of astronomical instrument, with its spine.
 These can be fitted around the axes of the hemisphere. Radio masts will
rise up over the monument. It should be emphasised that Tatlin’s proposal
provides for walls with a vacuum which will help to keep the temperature
in the various rooms constant.
 The main idea of the monument is based on an organic synthesis of the
principles of architecture, sculpture and painting and was intended to
produce a new type of monumental structure, uniting in itself a purely
creative form.
 the glass structures should have vacuum walls (a thermos) which will make
it easy to maintain a constant temperature within the edifice. The separate
parts of the monument will be connected to one another and to the ground
by means exclusively of complexly structured electrical elevators, adjusted
to the differing rotation speeds of the structures.