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Year 7 Art - Modernism: Constructivism

Guide to provide resources supporting year 7 unit on Modernism and Modernist Artists

What is Constructivism?

Artists and Artworks

These articles, while general, also include a more specific focus on Constructivist artists and artworks .

Constructivism, Part I - Khan Academy

Constructivism, Part II - Khan Academy

What Was Constructivism? Building the Future through Art

The Constructivist Tradition [Sculpture - Britannica]

Constructivism - Critical Studies


Significant artists of the Constructivism movement.

Russian Constructivism and Graphic Design

   Includes: Alexander (Aleksandr) Rodchenko; El (Lazar Markovich) Lissitzky; Georgii Stenberg; Vladimir Stenberg

Further Research - Constructivism

Learn more about Constructivism with the following audio and video resources.


Constructivism: Giving Shape to the Everyday (Leonard A. Lauder Lecture Series on Modern Art, Art x Architecture: Russian Intersections 1917–37, Part 2) [video; 1 hour 19 minutes] - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

   Tune in as architect, historian, and curator Jean-Louis Cohen discusses the radical changes that affected Russian art and architecture during the twenty years following the Bolshevik Revolution. During this evening’s lecture, titled “Constructivism: Giving Shape to the Everyday,” Professor Cohen will consider the period between 1923 and 1930, when building activity resumed following the civil war and Russian artists and architects collaborated closely in educational institutions, such as Moscow’s Vkhutemas, where Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky both taught.


Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life [audio] - The TATE

   The past TateModern conference, Constructivism and Everyday Life, exploring issues raised by the Rodchenko & Popova exhibition.

  • Part 1 [36 minutes 31 seconds]
  • Part 2 [30 minutes 30 seconds]
  • Part 3 [62 minutes 3 seconds]


Russian Constructivist Art, 1973 [audio; Part 1 (23 minutes); Part 2 (24 minutes)] - The Guggenheim

   Mimi Poser discusses Russian Constructivism with art historian Charlotte Weidler and Guggenheim curator Linda Konheim.


"The Constructivist Tradition in Contemporary Sculpture" by George Rickey, 1967 [audio; 54 minutes] - The Guggenheim

   Artist George Rickey discusses the Constructivist tradition in contemporary sculpture. An influential sculptor known for his kinetic works, Rickey was also a scholar and professor of sculpture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. This event took place on October 29, 1967, in conjunction with Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1967: Sculpture from Twenty Nations (1967–68).

Other Notable Artists

Antoine Pevsner

Biographies of Antoine Pevsner:

   Antoine Pevsner - Britannica Schools  

   Antoine Pevsner - Guggenheim 

   Antoine Pevsner - Gallery MC

   Antoine Pevsner - University of Chicago

   Antoine Pevsner: A lifetime of experimentation - GreyScape

   Antoine Pevesnr: The Constructivist Sculptor of Kinetic Rhythms


A pioneer of kinetic art, Antoine Pevsner's constructivist sculptures are characterised by the use of funnel shapes, and convex and concave forms. Take a closer look at his artistic style.

Construction Pour Un Aéroport

Column of Peace

Antoine Pevsner - Sculptures [video; 12 minutes]

See Pevsner's works via Obelisk Art History, and Artnet; as well as at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Princeton University Art Museum, Christie's, and The Tate. Click on an artwork to discover more about it. 

El Lissitzky

Biographies of El Lissitzky:

   El Lissitzky - Britannica Schools (for basic overview see: El Lissitzky (Middle))

   El Lissitzky - Google Arts and Culture

   El Lissitzky - Guggenheim

   El Lissitzky - Artland

   El Lissitzky - WahooArt (scroll down past the artworks to see the biography)

   El Lissitzky - GreyScape

   El Lissitzky - Encyclopedia of Visual Artists

   El Lissitzky: Russian Painter, Typographer, and Designer (Overview and Artworks) - The Art Story

    An overview of the artist and his accomplishments. This page also includes links to: a full biography; his artistic legacy, progression, and influences; important artworks; and additional resources, including books, websites, and articles.


Although many of these resources also contain biographical information, there is a significant focus on Lissitzky's works, artistic progression and style. 

El Lissitzky - Widewalls

El Lissitzky - Totally History

El Lissitzky - Utopia/Dystopia: Examining Art of the WWI Era

   Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge

   Die Kunstismen

   The Constructor

El Lissitzky, the Avant-Garde, and the Russian Revolution

Modern Trends: Constructivism [focus on El Lissitzky and his Aero Proun]

See Lissitzky's works via Obelisk Art History; as well as at the Tate and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Click on an artwork to discover more about it.


Prior to his involvement with Constructivism, El Lissitzky was a student of Suprematism. Check the Suprematism LibGuide page to discover more about Lissitzky's Suprematist works.

Vladimir Tatlin

Biographies of Vladimir Tatlin:

   Vladimir Tatlin - Britannica Schools

   Vladimir Tatlin - Wahoo Art (scroll down past the artworks to read the biography)

   Vladimir Tatlin - Utopia / Dystopia: Examining Art of the WWI Era

   Vladimir Tatlin - Widewalls

   Vladimir Tatlin: Russian Architect, Painter, and Sculptor (Overview and Artworks) - The Art Story

An overview of the artist and his accomplishments. This page also includes links to: a full biography; his artistic legacy, progression, and influences; important artworks; and additional resources, including books, websites, articles, video-clips, and more.


A founder of Constructivism, Vladimir Tatlin is one of the most well-known Constructivist artists, believing strongly in a functional purpose for art. Use these resources to discover more about Tatlin and his works, particularly his most famous piece: Monument to the Third International, also known as "Tatlin's Tower."

Monument to the Third International

   Vladimir Tatlin: 'Monument to the Third International'

   Tatlin's Tower - The Khan Academy

   Poetry of Metal

   The Model of Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International: Reconstruction as an Instrument of Research and States of Knowledge [The TATE]

Tatlin: New Art for a New World [exhibition - Museum Tinguely]

   Vladimir Tatlin Retrospective at Museum Tinguely in Basel [video: 5 minutes] (exhibition preview)

Six part article series: Exhibition of Russian-Soviet artist Vladimir Tatlin in Basel

   Tatlin's "new art for a new world"

   An interview with Roland Wetzel, director of the Museum Tinguely

   WSWS arts editor David Walsh on Vladimir Tatlin and the October Revolution

   Interview with Dmitrii Dimakov, expert on Tatlin’s work

   An interview with Gian Casper Bott, curator of the Tatlin exhibition

      Related video: Salon | Art History | Tatlin: New Art for a New World (Simon Baier, Critic and Art Historian, in conversation with Gian Casper Bott, Art Historian and Curator of the Tatlin Exhibition, Museum Tinguely, Basel [41 minutes])

   An interview with Anna Szech, art historian at the Museum Tinguely

Counter-Relief (1913) [Formalism II: Truth to Materials (Constructivism and the Bauhaus) - The Khan Academy] 

See Tatlin's works via Arthive, Wahoo Art and Totally History. Click on an artwork to take a closer look.

Alexander Rodchenko (Aleksandr Rodchenko)

Biographies of Alexander Rodchenko:

   Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko - Britannica Schools (for basic overview see: Alexander Rodchenko (Middle))

   Alexander Rodchenko - Google Arts and Culture

   Alexander Rodchenko - Wahoo Art (scroll down past the artworks to read the biography)

   Alexander Rodchenko - Utopia / Dystopia: Examining Art of the WWI Era

   Alexander Rodchenko: Russian Designer, Painter, Photographer, and Sculptor (Overview and Artworks) - The Art Story

An overview of the artist and his accomplishments. This page also includes links to: a full biography; his artistic legacy, progression, and influences; important artworks; and additional resources, including books, websites, articles, and video-clips.


As a founder of Constructivism Alexander Rodchenko was instrumental in the development of Russian modernism in the areas of painting, photography and graphic design. Take a closer look at Rodchenko's works, artistic influences and style.

Aleksandr Rodchenko's Lines of Force 

Alexander Rodchenko, At the Telephone

Spatial Construction No.12. c.1920 [audio 1 minute  35 seconds]

Aleksandr Rodchenko [MOMA] : The following resources were created as part of the Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of Rodchenko's work. Use the interactive exhibition website to explore the artist's history, works, and chronology.

   Exhibition Website

   Exhibition Brochure

   For further reading: Aleksandr Rodchenko by Magdalena Dabrowski

Rodchenko & Popova: Defining Constructivism [TATE] : This exhibition explores the work of Aleksandr Rodchenko and Liubov Popova between 1917 and 1929, two of Constructivism's most influential and important artists.

   Exhibition Overview

   Audio: Part 1 [12 minutes] ; Part 2 [67 minutes]

See Rodchenko's works via Obelisk Art History, Wahoo Art, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Click on an artwork to discover more about it.

Naum Gabo

Biographies of Naum Gabo:

   Naum Gabo - Britannica Schools

   Naum Gabo - Artnet

   Naum Gabo - Guggenheim 

   Naum Gabo - Encyclopedia of Sculpture

   Naum Gabo - Widewalls

   Naum Gabo: Russian-American Sculptor, Designer, and Architect (Overview and Artworks) - The Art Story

An overview of the artist and his accomplishments. This page also includes links to: a full biography; his artistic legacy, progression, and influences; important artworks; and additional resources, including books, articles, video-clips, and more.


A pioneer of the movement, Naum Gabo cowrote the 'Realist Manifesto' which laid out the basic principles of Constructivism. In following these beliefs, particularly the greater emphasis on use of 'space', many of Gabo's works were created from transparent materials such as glass and plastic. Take a closer look at Gabo's artistic beliefs, development, and works throughout his life. 

Four Principles Behind Naum Gabo's Art 

Why Naum Gabo Was Instrumental for 20th Century Sculpture

The Impermanence of Constructivist Sculpture

Master of Time and Space

Constructions for Real Life - Exhibition Guide

   [related article: Naum Gabo: Constructions for Real Life]

A review of the work of Naum Gabo, sculptor of the famous and haunting Constructed Head no 2 in galvanised iron sheet 

Naum Gabo, Translucent Variation on Spheric Theme, 1937 (reconstructed 1951) [includes audio: 1 minutes 25 seconds]

Construction in Space: Two Cones 1936, Replica 1968 [Lost Art: Naum Gabo] - TATE

Naum Gabo (Construction in Space) [Abstract Sculptures - Looking at Famous Sculpture Artists and Their Work] - Art in Context

Naum Gabo's Constructivist Ballet [includes video: 3 minutes, 20 seconds]

Naum Gabo - Sculptures [video; 13 minutes, 5 seconds]

Many of Gabo's sculptures degraded over time due to the material used to create them - unstable and fragile plastics. Learn about what the TATE is doing to help preserve his artistic vision.

   Degradation of Naum Gabo’s Plastic Sculpture: The Catalyst for the Workshop

   Tate Sculpture Replica Project

   Naum Gabo and the Quandaries of the Replica

See Gabo's works at the TATE, National Galleries Scotland, and Christies. Click on an artwork to discover more about it.


Check out the Kinetic Art information box to investigate another of Gabo's well-known works: Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave).

Books in the Nettlefold Library

Kinetic Art

“We repudiate: the millennial error inherited from Egyptian Art: static rhythms seem as the sole elements of plastic creation. We proclaim a new element in plastic arts: the kinetic rhythms, which are essential forms of our perception of real time.” (Realistic Manifesto - Pevsner & Gabo)

The origins of Kinetic Art can be found in Realistic Manifesto (as above) co-written in 1920 by Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo and the principles of Constructivism can bee seen in many of their early exploration into the movement. Fellow Constructivist artists Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko also produced works of Kinetic Art.

Use these resources to discover more about Kinetic Art, as well as notable works and artists.

Kinetic Art - Google Arts and Culture

Kinetic Art - Encyclopedia of Art History

Kinetic Art - The Art Story (includes history of the movement, key concepts, artworks, and artists, as well as additional useful resources)

What is Kinetic Art? 

What is a Kinetic Sculpture? The 3 Characteristics of One

The Most Important Traits of Kinetic Art

Top 10 Kinetic Art Artists and Pioneers

Constructing the Kinetic Art Movement: Sculptures and Mobiles [Kinetic Art - An Overview of this moving Art Term] (this section looks at Naum Gabo, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, and Alexander Calder)

The Evolution of Hypnotic Kinetic Sculptures

The World We See – Part 6: Art that Moves, in More Ways than One (the relevant section discussing Naum Gabo is the first part of this article)

     Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) - Naum Gabo

This sculpture by Naum Gabo is considered one of the first examples of Kinetic Art.

Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) - TATE

Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) - Sketchline

Further Listening - Naum Gabo

Learn more about Naum Gabo with these audio resources from the TATE and the Guggenheim.

Naum Gabo: Discovering the Archive - TATE [54 minutes]

   Art historian Christina Lodder introduces Gabo through his correspondence, writings, sketches and models, followed by a viewing of works in the Prints and Drawings Rooms and an exploration of the Archive.


Emigré Artists and their Archives: Naum Gabo and his Contemporaries - TATE

   When Naum Gabo left Russia in 1922, he did not know that he would never return. Like many of his contemporaries, circumstances forced him to move from his new home in Berlin to Paris, London and Cornwall, before finally settling in the United States.

  • Part 1 [77 minutes 9 seconds]
  • Part 2 [72 minutes 11 seconds]
  • Part 3 [72 minutes 11 seconds] 


Visions of a New World: Naum Gabo and the Russian Avant-Garde, introduction by Susan Hirschfeld / Charlotte Douglas - Guggenheim [43 minutes 27 seconds]


Naum Gabo Rediscovered: Revelations on a Constructivist Pioneer, introduction by Susan Hirschfeld / Stephen Nash

   The second of two lectures given in conjunction with the Naum Gabo exhibition.

  • Part 1 [48 minutes 31 seconds]
  • Part 2 [7 minutes 22 seconds]

(or read the transcript here)