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Vladimir Stenberg

(1899—1982)


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(1899–1982) and

(1900–33)

Widely known for their striking theatre designs, film posters, and street festivals of the 1920s, the Russian Constructivist Stenberg brothers originally trained from 1912 to 1917 at the Strogonov School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and the Free State Art Studios (1917–20). Founder members of the Society of Young Artists they were involved with the production of propaganda posters and street art in support of the Russian Revolution of 1917. They joined Inhuk (the Institute of Artistic Culture) in 1920 and were members of the Constructivist group, influenced by the outlook of Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko. In 1922 the Stenbergs exhibited more than 30 experimental works exploring new possibilities of architectural and spatial structures at the Café Poetov in Moscow. From 1915 onwards they had also been involved in theatre design and, from 1922 to 1931, designed many sets and costumes for Alexander Tairov's Karmerny Theatre, visiting Paris with the Theatre in 1923. In the 1920s they produced more than 300 film poster designs and worked as graphic designers on magazines such as Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (The Construction of Moscow). Their film poster designs were almost as striking a means of communication as Soviet cinema itself, combining photomontage, graphic forms and images, and often vibrant colours in a highly original way—in marked contrast to the black and white films they advertised. These included Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1927). However, with the rise of Stalinist totalitarianism from the late 1920s such progressive designs were increasingly constrained. Working together on the large‐scale designs of official festivals in the urban environment, the Stenbergs were also involved with many other branches of design including those relating to railway and underground carriages, public seating, fountains, and lighting. After Georgy's death in 1933, Vladimir continued to work alone, later collaborating on works with his sister and, after the Second World War, his son.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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