This striking portrait of Vladimir Mayakovsky by Alexander Rodchenko features two of the moving forces of the Russian avantgarde in one work. When this portrait was taken the two artists were close friends and some of the strongest portraits Rodchenko made of the writer are from this time. Rodchenko first met Mayakovsky in 1914 in Kasan during a public reading. Soon the poet became a regular visitor of the photographer'ss studio. The photograph offered here and in the following three lots were taken in April 1924 upon Mayakovsky's request. They were frequently published in the following years and are among some of Rodchenko's best portraits.
– Some handling marks, corners slightly bumped, some irregularities to ferrotype surface, more visible at an angle, retouching for publication in lower floor area, traces of previous mounting and some light stains on verso, otherwise in good condition.
Provenance: Rodchenko Family, Moscow, present of the artist's daughter Varvara Rodchenko to Britishart historian Camilla Gray in 1960, since 1971 private collection London.
Exhibition: Art in Revolution, Hayward Gallery, London 1971
Alexander Rodchenko, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1979
Vladimir Mayakovsky: Twenty Years of Work, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1981
Century City ,Tate Modern, London 2001
A Slap in the Face, Estorick Collection, London 2007
Lit.: Alexander Lavrentiev. Alexander Rodchenko - Photography 1924 - 1954. Cologne 1995, ill. p. 71.