Russia: Suprematism and Constructivism
"Then and Now!" anonymous poster
Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, Suprematism
First Suprematist Exhibition in Saint Petersburg, 1915, featuring Malevich's Black Square hanging in the corner.
Kazimir Malevich, White on White, Suprematism
Vladimir Tatlin, Wall Relief, Constructivism (destroyed, photographed in 1921)
Vladimir Tatlin, Proposed Monument to the Third International, model photographed in 1920 (destroyed), Constructivism
A model of Tatlin's proposed Monument on parade for May Day in Saint Petersburg, 1920
Aleksandr Rodchenko, Books!, poster, Constructivism
Aleksandr Rodchenko, cover for LEF magazine, Constructivism
El Lissitzky, PROUN Composition, Constructivism
El Lissitzky, "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge!" poster, Constructivism
El Lissitzky, proposed speaker's tribune for Lenin, Constructivism
The Netherlands: De Stijl
Theo Van Doesburg, Color Construction, De Stijl
Gerrit Rietveld, Schroder House, Utrecht, The Netherlands, De Stijl
Gerrit Rietveld, Schroder House, interior
Gerrit Rietveld, table and chair for the Schroder House, De Stijl
Piet Mondrian, Red Tree, De Stijl
Piet Mondrian, Pier and Ocean, De Stijl
Piet Mondrian, Red, Yellow, and Blue, De Stijl
Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, DeStijl
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN BETWEEN THE WARS
The Russian Revolution
--Theo Van Doesburg
Metropolis was the very first science fiction blockbuster, the direct ancestor of the big budget sci fi epics released almost every summer in the mall cineplexes these days. Directed by Fritz Lang and based on a novel written by his wife, Thea von Harbou, it was released in 1927. The movie shows a huge city in the year 2026. It is a very ambivalent vision of a future where technology creates enormous powers to do great good and great evil, where the elite live in splendid palaces in the sky, while the toiling masses live underground. The machines and the architecture can be amazing to look at, inspired by Sant'Elia's visions of a Futurist city. Those same machines can devour the very people who service them.
Below is Kino Video's trailer for their latest restoration of Metropolis. They now own the rights to it and have been cracking down on YouTube posts from the movie (which continues to have a huge and enthusiastic international cult following). That's alright because you get a good glimpse at most of the really cool parts.
Metropolis was a huge hit with the public across Europe, but it was so expensive to make with its colossal sets, dazzling special effects (all before computer animation and still amazing after 80 years), and casts of thousands, that there was no way to break even let alone make a profit on ticket sales. The movie proved to be so costly that it bankrupted the production company.
It is interesting to see what it does and does not predict. It does predict television (just invented that year in the USA), but it does not predict computers or anything like the internet.
Science fiction writers of the day hated this movie, especially HG Wells, author of War of the Worlds. But some architects loved it. Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, was a fan of this movie. A veteran of the First World War, he shared the movie's ambivalent view of technology.