Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rodchenko & Popova : Defining Constructivism at Tate Modern

'In the room, the women come and go,
Talking of Michelangelo'

(T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 1915)

So different from Tate Modern on a Sunday afternoon.

I don't know what the the artists whose work is on display would make of the post-industrial chic of the 'Turbine Hall' , or the escalators reminiscent of the the 1920s film 'Metropolis'

Art, gallery art in particular, is generally produced for the rich and powerful, and often presents a narrow, individualistic perspective that's hard to relate to. What's rare is to see artists inspired by social ideals . That's what so exhilarating about this big exhibition at the Tate Modern. It's a glimpse of how artists might have been involved in building a more equal society.

It takes up twelve rooms of great paintings, posters, films and even a complete room installation, based on Rodchenko's design for the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industry in Paris. Called a 'Workers' Club', it's : 'a collective space in which bourgeois comfort was replaced by geometric functionalism'

I tried sitting in one of the so-called 'geometric chairs' . Come back DFS, all is forgiven.

A Times review:

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

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