ConstrucTOYvism

Believing that art should directly reflect the modern industrial world, a new art movement called constructivism was founded, itself borrowing concepts from cubism, suprematism, and futurism. Abstaining from discernible styles and aesthetics, constructivists embraced a pure technical mastery of materials with an emphasis on the organized parts’ finished spatial presence. Called the last Russian modern art movement to flourish in the 20th century, this roughly 100-year-old movement has been reimagined by designer toy artists onto contemporary forms, each work being part of what the curators at the Clutter Gallery have titled ConstrucTOYvism.

The ConstrucTOYvism Group Exhibition

With the invited artists tasked to create unique sculptural works with the limited palette of red, white, and black, this seemingly stems more from Russian Civil War-era propaganda posters than it does constructivism. But those slashes of black and geometric fields of red upon white paper were more than eye-catching campaigns, as many popular examples were designed by those closely associated with the then-burgeoning art movement, such as El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko. And it is this striking graphic tradition that ConstrucTOYvism calls upon, artists like Dolly Oblong and Doubleparlour imbuing their own forms with the coloration while others, for instance Andrea Kang and Jon-Paul Kaiser, decorated well-known forms with the color scheme.

JeAA’s A tribute to the FVTHER of Street Art

In 2016, Filipino artist JeAA introduced his 15-inch tall FVTHER form, a merging of the eponymous super robot from Chōdenji Machine Voltes V and Star WarsDarth Vader in an urbanized rendition. Revisiting this resin cast creation, JeAA contributed a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted work to the exhibition titled A tribute to the FVTHER of Street Art, the sculpture adorned with swaths of neo-expressionist decoration and precisely executed detailing. Purportedly paying tribute to the street artists who helped legitimized that art movement, elements include a crown reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s signature design and Shepard Fairey‘s accenting patterns.

Tokyo Jesus’ Eternal G

Japanese artist Tokyo Jesus chose to use a traditional toy of a famous movie monster as his canvas, hand-painting his signature Asian woman and pile of skulls elements upon it. Titled Eternal G, the artist admits that the “G” in the title denotes three things: the Bandai-produced Godzilla ’64 (or Mosu-Goji) form his piece uses, the Girl he illustrated upon its chest, and Gyaku (逆), the Japanese word for “reverse”. Addressing the intention of the latter, it could indicate something as obvious as how the Girl’s hands are depicted backwards or even how Godzilla is primarily coated in red, the opposite on the color wheel to the creature’s traditional green.

Fer MG’s Abstract Russian Clown

Appearing as a perfectly formed shape, Fer MG‘s Abstract Russian Clown is the result of the artist expertly merging two factory-produced vinyl works together, namely Bowo Baghaskara‘s Break Skull replacing the head of Judas Arrieta‘s sculptural self-portrait, the JudasZ. Carefully constructing the form’s shoes and hat out of wood, the latter affixed through use of magnets, Fer MG’s cleanly painted piece perhaps best exemplifies constructivism out of everything exhibited within ConstrucTOYvism. It’s not about the colors employed or the geometric shapes adorning it, it’s the technical mastery the artist reveals through this piece’s ingenius assembly.

An Overview of ConstrucTOYvism

Having had its opening reception on Saturday, August 11th from 6-9pm, all works in this exhibition will remain on display until August 31st, 2018 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

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