Russian family of sculptors and designers. Vladimir (Avgustovich) Stenberg (b Moscow, 4 April 1899; d Moscow, 2 May 1982) and his brother Georgy (Avgustovich) Stenberg (b Moscow, 20 March 1900; d Moscow, 15 Oct 1933) were encouraged by their father, a painter, and worked closely together until Georgy’s death. They trained first at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, then continued their studies at the Free State Art Studios (Svomas) under Georgy Yakulov. They were founder-members of the Society of Young Artists (Obmokhu), which produced propaganda posters and urban decorations for revolutionary festivals. They contributed collaborative works to all four of the group’s exhibitions (1919, 1920, 1921, 1923); at the 1921 show they exhibited their three-dimensional constructions alongside Rodchenko’s hanging works. The Stenbergs joined the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk) in January 1920, becoming members of the First Working Group of Constructivists in 1921. In January 1922, together with Konstantin Medunetsky, they exhibited 31 works at the Kafe Poetov in Moscow and produced a declaration of Constructivist principles in the catalogue. Each work was entitled Construction of Spatial Structure and was envisaged as an experiment towards new types of utilitarian and architectural structures.
The Stenbergs started working in the theatre in 1915 and from 1922 designed sets and costumes for numerous productions at the Kamerny Theatre of Alexander Tairov (1885–1950), including Zholtaya kofta (‘The yellow blouse’) with Medunetsky. In 1923 they visited Paris with Tairov’s company, exhibiting their work there, and they worked on designs for pavilions at the All Russian Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow. During the 1920s the brothers produced a large quantity of film posters signed 2 stenberg 2 and worked extensively as graphic designers on such magazines as Stroitel’stvo Moskvy (‘The construction of Moscow’). From 1928 they were responsible for decorations in Red Square celebrating the anniversary of the Revolution. After Georgy’s death in 1933 Vladimir worked alone on these and other decorations for festivals and state ceremonies in Moscow. He executed a number of works with his sister Lidiya (Avgustovna) Stenberg (1903–62), and from 1945 to 1963 he worked with his son, Sten Stenberg.
From Grove Art Online
© 2009 Oxford University Press