The Stenberg Brothers

The Stenbergs practiced in a range of media, initially active as Constructivist sculptors, subsequently as theater designers, architects, and draftspeople. Their design work covered the gamut from clothing, including women's shoes, to rail carriages. Some examples of their sculpture were spidery and spindly structures, such as the reconstruction (1973 - 74) of KPS 11: Construction of a spatial apparatus no. 11 (1919 - 20) in steel, glass, paint and plaster on wood in the National Gallery of Australia Canberra. However, the arenas in which they excelled were theater, costume and graphic designs, particularly the graphic design of film posters, encouraged by the surging interest in movies in Russia and the government's sanctioning of graphic design and the cinema.
The brothers were at their prime during the revolutionary period of politics and artistic experimentation in Russia, centered in Moscow. There was a shift from the illustrator-as-creator to the constructor-as-creator or nonlinear-narrator-as-creator. In the visual language of the constructor or Constructivist, the Stenbergs and other graphic designers and artists assembled images, such as portions of photographs and preprinted paper, that had been created by others. Thus, the Stenbergs and others realized wholly new images (or compositions) which were no longer about realism. Hence, graphic design as a modern expression eschewing traditional fine art was born in the form of the printed reproductions of collage or assemblage. One of the causes of the avant-garde artists in the new Russia, who considered fine art to be useless, was served when the Stenbergs and others as constructors-as-creators produced posters that had a use, particularly to serve the state.

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