dada and constructivist marionettes of the twentieth century

There’s been a lot of interest here at the Artlog in the constructivist puppets of the Russian artist and stage designer Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster that I featured in my two posts about marionettes. Here are a few more of her puppets.

After studying art at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, Exter returned to Russia where she became a leading stage-designer and produced the set and costume designs for what is often called the first Soviet science-fiction film, Aelita, (1924) aka Aelita: Queen of Mars. That same year she and her husband Nicolas Evgenievich Ekster emigrated to France, where Alexandra lived for the rest of her life. She moved and worked in a circle of artistic elite, and was friends with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Guillaume Apollinaire and Gertrude Stein.

Below: images from Aelita

Practioners of the Dada and Constructivism movements were particularly drawn to puppetry as an expression of their art. Among their number were Ekster (1882 – 1949), Otto Morach (1887 – 1973), Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889 – 1943) and Hanna Hoch (1889 – 1978). Here are some images of marionettes designed and made by Morach, Taeuber-Arp and Hoch.

Below: marionettes by Otto Morach

Below: marionettes by Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Above: Sophie and Jean Hans Arp with marionettes

Below: marionettes by Hanna Hoch

11 thoughts on “dada and constructivist marionettes of the twentieth century

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  4. this aelita set is astonishing! and now, otto morach– i swear i was supposed to be alive *then*, i don’t know what happened. i am fascinated by how otto uses the paint and the puppet-material (wood?) together; it’s so much more than making a 3D version of a painting…
    thank you so much for these!

  5. Brilliant puppets, and I’ve just noticed The Whitechapel Gallery has a big new Hannah Hoch exhibition on so I’ll be going to that in the next few days!

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  7. I absolutely LOVE these examples! Tres, tres moderne! And, they have just given me a brainstorm, too!! Or is it the pain killers? Whatever, it’s a grand idea… thanks for these image-rich posts, Mister.

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