Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy originated in Russia, 1913, by Vladimir Tatlin. It consisted in the rejection of the idea of autonomous art; for Tatlin defended that art should be ‘constructed’.
This philosophy became extremely popular, influencing the major modern art movements and trends of the 20th century, such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements. Its influence was pervasive, greatly affecting the architecture, graphic design, industrial design, theatre, film, dance, fashion and even music of that time.
- Photography & photomontage
Constructivists were early developers of the techniques of photomontage. Gustav Klutsis’ ‘Dynamic City’ and ‘Lenin and Electrification’ (1919–20) are the first examples of this method of montage which, much as in Dadaism, consisted of the collaging together of news, photographs and painted sections. Still, Constructivist montages were less ‘destructive’ than those of Dadaism.
László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), Hungarian painter and photograher, as well as professor in the Bauhaus school; highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.
Note: I was particularly interested in his constructivist montages and his use of shapes and colours.
Christine Erhard (christineerhard.de) is a German artist who’s primary motive in making her work is to reproduce a new reality, something that looks real but cannot actually exist, except when viewed through the lens of a camera.
“Trying to move away from the conventions of linear perspective, she brings together disparate viewpoints in her constructed spaces. For her, the most interesting part of the image is where the fragments of the model overlap and how the intentional confusing of perspective allows the viewer to simultaneously recognise the architectural landscape while also understanding that something is not quite true.”
Note: Erhard’s works were extremely influential in my own practice during this project. I was fascinated not only by her play with perspective but also with her unique collages and use of colours.
Postmodern Architecture is a style or movement which emerged in the 1960s as a reaction against the austerity, formality, and lack of variety of modern architecture, particularly in the international style advocated by Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The style flourished from the 1980s through the 1990s and, in the late 1990s, it divided itself into a multitude of new tendencies, including high-tech architecture, neo-classicism and deconstructivism.
Colour was an important element in many postmodern buildings. To give the façades variety and personality, sometimes coloured glass, ceramic tiles or even stones were used.
Richard Rogers is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs in high-tech architecture. Rogers’ best known works include the Pompidou Centre in Paris; the Lloyd’s building and Millennium Dome, both in London; the Senedd in Cardiff, among others.
Note: Again, the use of colour in Rogers’ buildings was something that captivated my attention. He seemed to use colour as a complimentary detail to the architecture of his buildings; however, when looking at the whole picture, we can see how colour really does stand out and gives life to the buildings.