Pioneer with trumpet

by Alexander Rodchenko, 1930

Pioneer with trumpet by Alexander Rodchenko, 1930

Alexander Rodchenko was one of the early Leica photography pioneers, he also played major role in the Russian avant-garde.

In 1928, Rodchenko said: “We must revolutionise our visual perception. We must tear the veil from our eyes. The most interesting visual angles of our times are those from top to bottom and from bottom to top, and their diagonals.”

Following this visual maxima, Rodchenko developed his signature visual aesthetic that broke with conventional viewing habits, classic example is the showcased photograph Pioneer with Trumpet, which he shot with his Leica at a pioneer camp near Moscow, amongst other images. In 1930, this legendary close-up of the young pioneer from a daring bottom view no longer conformed with the official Soviet visual language. The picture sparked the dispute which ultimately led to Rodchenko’s expulsion from the artistic circle “October” that he originally joined in 1928.

As one of the most important proponents of Russian Constructivism, Rodchenko was not only a photographer, but also a painter, sculptor, set designer, architect and typographer. Breakneck diagonals, slanting top views and unaccustomed perspectives are only some of the facets of his innovative visual language, which revolutionised photography in the first half of the 20th century.

Rodchenko was one of the main personalities involved in the russian avant-garde.

Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction