AAJ Press
Architecture & Design, Exhibitions & Events

Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935 / Re-creating Tatlin’s Tower. Royal Academy London. 29 October 2011 – 22 January 2012

This exhibition of large-scale photographs of extant buildings with Constructivist drawings and paintings, vintage photographs and periodicals examines Russian avant-garde architecture made during the period of design and construction that took place from c.1922 to 1935. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from c.1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state. The drive to forge a new Socialist society in Russia encouraged synthesis between radical art and architecture. This creative reciprocity was reflected in the engagement with architectural ideas and projects of such artists as Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, Liubov Popova, El Lizzitsky, Ivan Kluin and Gustav Klucis, and in designs by such architects as Konstantin Melnikov, Moisei Ginsburg, Ilia Golosov and the Vesnin brothers, as well as Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn, European architects who were draughted in to help shape the new utopia.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, known as ‘Tatlin’s Tower’, commissioned from Jeremy Dixon of Dixon Jones Architects has been installed in the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard. Re-creating Tatlin’s Tower is a supporting exhibition in the Architecture Space at the RA explores the conception, vision and symbolism of Vladimir Tatlin’s unrealised monument to the Third International. The original structure. was a double-helix frame, with an internal structure of a cube, pyramid and cylinder, which revolved annually, monthly and daily. It reveals the process led by Jeremy Dixon to recreate a scale-model of the tower. The original in St Petersburg/Leningrad would have been 400-metres high while the replica is 10-metres high.  23 September – 29 January 2012.

Publication: Building the Revolution: Soviet Architecture 1915-1935. A history of Russian art and architecture of this period.
The book includes essays, with photographs by Richard Pare who has spent the last 15 years documenting the current state of these iconic structures. His pictures are juxtaposed with vintage photographs, contemporary periodicals and drawings and paintings by Constructivist artists. £24.95

Images: El Lissitzky, Sketch for Proun 6B, 1919-21. Pencil and gouache on paper. 346 x 447 mm. State Museum of Contemporary Art – G. Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki, Greece. © DACS 2011; Richard Pare, Shabolovka Radio Tower, 1998.154.8 x 121.9 cm. Richard Pare, courtesy Kicken Berlin. © Richard Pare; Unknown artist, Havsko-Shabolovskii residential block and Shabolovka Radio Tower viewed from Sepukhovskii Val ulitsa, 1929. 115 x 169 mm. Department of Photographs, Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow; Computer visualisation of Tatlin’s Tower by Dixon Jones Architects; Vladimir Tatlin (1885–1953), Monument to the Third International: side elevation, 1920, N. Punin Archive © Anna Kaminskaya.

Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with the SMCA-Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki, and with the participation of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow, and Richard Pare.


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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