Gustav Klutsis, ‘Construction’, 1920-1921, Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)

Collection: Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga

Image rights: Courtesy of the Latvian National Museum of Art

"Visionary Structures: From Johansons to Johansons"

Venue: Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), Brussels (2015)

About Gustav Klutsis

A central figure of Constructivism and pioneer of photomontage, Gustav Klutsis participated in the political and intellectual ferment of the early Soviet Union as a photographer, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer, and teacher. After a period studying under Kasimir Malevich, Klutsis translated Suprematism’s fascination with pure geometry into more architectural constructions of wood and paper. In the 1920s he started using combinations of photographs taken from everyday life, self-portraits, drawings, and cut-outs from publications to create an early form of photomontage. Klutsis also created utilitarian objects through an ingenious combination of industrial design and assemblage, as in his agitprop stands made from fragments of loudspeakers, platforms, film projectors, and screens. Late in his career he was a key member of the avant-garde collective October alongside El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and wife Valentina Kulagina.

Latvian, 1895-1938, Rūjiena, Latvia