Constructivist art:


Constructivist art movement was intertwined with the POLITICAL situations in Russia at that time.

Constructivist art INFLUENCED artists such as, Naum Gabo, Vladimir Tatlin, EL LISSITZKY Alexander Rodchenko, Antoine Pevsner, Alexander Vesnin, Liubov Popova, among others. This movement was carried to latter years and was a vital influence of the Bauhaus Movement.

Believing art to have the power to transform society, Lissitzky said, “Art can no longer be merely a mirror, it must act as the organizer of the people’s consciousness.”


El Lissitzky’s political poster, ‘Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge’ is a great example of Constructivism. Constructivism works are mostly ABSTRACT AND BOLD and use symbolic GEOMETRIC SHAPES and experimental type to capture the Russian communist ideology of progress and to establish an acceptance of modernity.

My Own Design:



“Constructivism.” Learning Theories, 8 Sept. 2016,

“Constructivism Movement, Artists and Major Works.” The Art Story,

“Constructivism (Philosophy of Education).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Mar. 2018,

“El Lissitzky | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,

Flask, Dominic. El Lissitzky : Design Is History,

Stephen J. Eskilson. Graphic Design: A New History, Second Edition. Yale University Press, 2012.

Synesthesia Blog

Graphic Design Hist-20th Century 002

Elisabetta Costa

Blog: Synesthesia

The experience of ones sense can trigger the perception of other senses. This condition of a physical sensation evoking another is known as Synesthesia. I believe that this experience can be triggered in various works during the Art Nouveau Movement. Art Nouveau arose in the later part of the nineteenth century. This period interests me because it is a reaction to the academic and strict art of the early 19th century. After the Industrial Revolution, designers and artists believed that Europe was lacking its beauty. Therefore, in unifying art and design together creative’s attempted to celebrate the vibrant urban life with fresh visuals and perspectives. Natural forms and structures, as seen in Cheret’s work, inspired many artists of this period.

In 1893, Jules Cheret created the most influential poster of the century, La Loie Fuller. This poster advertised the Paris debut of the American dancer at the Folies-Bergère. I believe Cheret’s lively style matched the dancers performance perfectly as it was described. Inspired by the Japanese Art and Rococo style, Cheret captures the dancer’s natural movement, spinning on stage as her silk garments are shimmering in different colours. I especially admire how Cheret uses the attributes of the new art of graphic design in combining lettering with the image. When I look at this poster I immediately connected the composition with musical instruments. This connection could be made due to the figure’s movement.

The figures colourful clothing leads the eye to visit every corner of the composition. This fun experience paired with the sophisticated look on the figures face allows me to think of the first 2 minutes of Queen’s, Bohemian Rhapsody. Cheret depicts an individual who is caught in the moment and in viewing this I have the urge to get up and dance myself. The slow and fast pace of Bohemian Rhapsody suits the ambience of this composition. The black background and classic text matches the slow part of the song, whereas the rainbow colours and movement match the upbeat tunes. Cheret’s movement poster, La Loie Fuller, can resemble synesthesia with its characteristics and features



“Art Nouveau.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Mar. 2018,

Eskilson, Stephen J. Graphic Design: a New History. Yale University Press, 2012.

“Synesthesia.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

Design Inspiration

The creation of paintings, drawings, and sculptures for salon exhibitions was coming to an end in the late 19th century, which introduced Art Nouveau. During this period, artists like Henri Toulouse-Lautrec were interested in communicating through the use of magazines, advertisements and posters. These new forms of publications allowed artists to communicate through their advertisements and not in person, which pushed the Art Nouveau period internationally.

By the 1890’s, advertisements were recognized, as art pieces and I believe Toulouse-Lautrec’s creative designs helped elevate these advertisements to artistic status and influenced later commercial artists such as Andy Warhol. I believe Lautrec’s compositions, paved the way for the Pop Art movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

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Specific compositions such as Lautrec’s ‘Moulin Rouge’ created in 1981 shows similarities to Warhol’s works like Marilyn Monroe in 1967. In Moulin Rouge, Toulouse-Lautrec captures the energetic nightlife in Paris. He depicts a dance hall in the entertainment district of Montmartre to look busy, with plenty of people around (clearly for advertising purposes). Also, a dancer is shown in mid-kick as she lifts her skirt above her knees. Toulouse-Lautrec uses color to move the eye outward across the composition from right to left, from the dancers vibrant dress, over to the background. Vibrant and flat areas of colour are seen in both works. Lautrec managed to depict the vivid and colourful people in his cultural setting of his era and turned this into commercial.

In Warhol’s ‘Marylin Monroe’ he played with variations of vibrant colours to include in this composition.  The portrait of Marilyn Monroe  is from a publicity still of her 1953 film Niagara.

Andy Warhol, like Toulouse-Lautrec loved to depict figures of their culture. Marilyn represents the glamour, charm and iconic status that Andy Warhol loved in his subjects. Warhol was also, ‘inspired to experiment with silkscreen printing, thus bringing together art and commodity culture.’

Both Toulouse-Lautrec and Warhol were printmakers and creative marketers who worked hard to bring life to the genre of commercial art. I’ve also read that, ‘both suffered crippling disabilities and terrible isolation’. This similarity, interests me because it could connect their experience of isolation to form the love of art in each of them.

All in all,  the artists’ shared interest in the popular culture of their day. allowed them to ‘blur the line between life and art to the point that it can be tough to tell which is the reflection’