Soviet Drawings

“Architecture in Cultural Strife. Russian and Soviet Architecture in Drawings. 1900–1953” at the Tchoban Foundation illustrates the contradictions in the history of Russian architecture.

Soviet Drawings
The exhibition has been assembled from the collection of the Tchoban Foundation in its own home at Pfefferberg, Berlin, and illustrates the ideological and artistic divide between Neoclassicists and Constructivists, the two main architectural currents in Russia, later the Soviet Union, from the turn of the last century up until Stalin’s death.
Soviet Drawings
Top: Alexey Shchusev, Design for the granite Lenin mausoleum in Moscow. Perspective against the backdrop of the Kremlin,1930, pencil on paper, 593 x 1510 mm. Above: Arkady Mordvinov, Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky, Design for the Hotel Ukraina in Moscow. Perspective, 1948 - 1954. Brush and watercolour over preparatory pencil sketches, white highlights, 1424 x 1267 mm
The history of Russian architecture in the first half of the twentieth century is riddled with contradictions. This is already evident in its origins. Whilst avant-garde Constructivism, radically daring even today, was mainly rooted in Moscow, the defenders of Neoclassicism were bound to the traditional architecture of St. Petersburg. Yet both currents strove to represent the architecture of the Revolution. As the two schools crossed paths in the 1920s, a widening rift revealed not only artistic but ideological differences. Neoclassicism was adopted by the Bolsheviks to embody their cultural agenda and was established during the following decades as the leading national style of the Soviet Union. The modernist current, in contrast, was drastically marginalised or at best, combined in a kind of synthesis comparable to western Art Déco.
Soviet Drawings
Boris Iofan, Design for Moscow State University on Leninskie Gory in Moscow. Main façade, 1947, Charcoal on tracing paper, 680 x 895 mm
The exhibited drawings from the collection of the Tchoban Foundation offer an impressive insight into the most important chapter of Russian architectural history. 79 drawings from 1900 to 1953 will be presented on two floors of the Museum for Architectural Drawings which recently opened in June 2013. Highlights include the Constructivist designs by Kirill Afansyev and Andrey Burov, drawings by the Neoclassicist, Boris Iofan, architectural fantasies by Yakov Chernikhov, projects by Noi Trotsky and Igor Fomin as well as designs for the Lenin Mausoleums by Alexey Shchusev.

until March 21, 2014
Architecture in Cultural Strife.
Russian and Soviet Architecture in Drawings. 1900–1953

Tchoban Foundation
Christinenstraße 18a, Berlin
Curated by: Irina Sedova
Concept: Vladimir Sedov, Sergei Tchoban

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