Industrial + Cultural Production = Constructivism

Rees's Cyclopaedia - Act Directs. Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, Paternoster Row. Engraved by W. Lowry; 1809 – 1818.
153.5 x 117 cm each (triptych)

“The constructivist compared the artist to an engineer, arranging material scientifically and objectively, and producing art works as rationally as any other manufactured object” (Rodchenko and Popova: Defining Constructivism, Tate exhibition 2009).

Francisca’s Russian D visualises constructivism. The mathematical calculations that govern the folds throughout her work are here celebrated for both their form and meaning. Solid rows fragment into the elegant lines and inflections of the ‘D’ – marks cast with the graduating angles of precision, a far cry from the simplicity of pencil to paper. Sharp folded edges inflict into space, ensuring we are as aware of the process as the finished work itself. Revealing the mechanics and cross sections of industry, each page reinforces the calculated purpose of the work. The cogs, cylinders and arms of each drawn object create a teeming activity within each little window, revealing a production line, the shadows and lines of etched engineering, as if they were fuelling the artwork itself.

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