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Since 1913, Vladimir Tatlin has been making his first revolutionary attempts to create sketches at the junction of two related fields of art: sculpture and painting. The result of art experiments were "counter-reliefs." Ready-made paintings by their appearance marked for the designer a new sharp turn in creative activity. Previously, he was engaged in figurative painting and was known primarily as a theater artist.
In his workshop, Tatlin turned from a painter into an engineer: instead of brushes and oil paints, he was surrounded by hammers, machine tools, saws and other tools.
In the spring of 1914, the first exhibition of “material rebounds” by the master was already opened in Moscow. The expositions were three-dimensional paintings, the elements of which were of various shapes, materials and were attached to the base. The artist focused on the nature of the surface of the material and its textural properties.
The cubism inherent in the beginning of the 20th century in the works of painters was transformed by Tatlin into relief compositions from metal structures, wooden planes, glass and plaster. Unprecedented combinations in the works created a special aesthetic effect. Constructivism was a new way for the designer to see the world: plastic, spatial, sculptural ...
The very concept of “counter-relief” is opposed in art to “relief” —antique and medieval traditions in fine art. Unusual designs, no doubt, are also grandiose and beautiful, but in a different way - they are fascinated by the logic of their construction and convincing completeness. Looking at the exhibits of Tatlin, you see the skeletons of the cities of the future, their indestructible foundation and bold aspiration to the sky and space.
"Counter-reliefs" are a kind of artistic bridge between classical painting and avant-garde architecture directed towards the future.
Golden Autumn Polenov