Revisiting Constructivism

Constructivism was an avant-garde art movement of the early 20th century that continues to hold relevance to many artists and art forms today. Developing out of post-World War One Russian Futurism and the Russian Revolution, this ground-breaking Modernist movement influenced all areas of art, design, and architecture. Although many contemporary artists and designers are drawn to Constructivism’s formal qualities–such as clean lines, bold color, angularity, and industrial materials–the key objectives of the movement were to directly influence society and to activate the viewer. This concept of activating the viewer and acknowledging their role in the construction of an artwork, is now one of the key tenants of contemporary art and one that is emphasised in all courses here at RMIT. The work of RMIT Senior Lecturer, Mr Peter Cripps draws on Constructivist ideals and for this reason he was recently curated into a major exhibition at Heidi Museum of Modern Art, “Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art”, which explores the movement’s influence on Australian art. Other artists included are: Ralph Balson, Frank Hinder, Inge King, Gunter Christmann, George Johnson, Robert Owen, Rose Nolan, Justene Williams and Zoë Croggon. These are shown with work by initial proponents of the movement, such as Russians Rodchenko, Malevich, El Lissitzky and Alexandra Exter, and also British artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth.

Examples of Constructivism and its Influence

A small selection of work to get you inspired: [envira-gallery id=”1147″]

Remember that song ‘Take Me Out’ by Franz Ferdinand? Look for Dada and Constructivism in the video clip.