The Royal Academy of Arts in London’s latest exhibition looks at the brief Constructivist era that emerged in 1915 in Soviet Russia. It displays paintings and drawings from several Constructivist artists showing the influence this movement had on the architecture at the time and importantly also being displayed are original and modern photographs of the buildings.
Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915 – 1935 examines the Constructivist movement in Russian art, architecture and photography. The Constructivists adapted an innovative style with bold geometric shapes and designs meant to express the optimism and promise of new Soviet Russia.
This new style was quickly taken up by architects and led to the creation of many unique and distinct buildings, the most famous being Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International commonly known as Tatlin’s Tower. In conjunction with this exhibition, the Royal Academy has also produced a reconstruction of the tower that can be viewed alongside a display showing the tower’s development from its initial conception.
This exhibition includes archival photographs of many of these buildings showing them in their original revolutionary surroundings. And interestingly, it also has modern large-scale photographs taken by Richard Pare. This exhibition raises questions about what has happened to these buildings 20 years after the fall of Soviet Russia. Some of the buildings have been conserved in their original condition, and others are in the process of being repaired and preserved. Some however have fallen into disrepair and it is through viewing the archival photographs alongside Pare’s more modern images that you are able to truly grasp how these buildings have changed.
This exhibition is running till the 22 of January 2012 and more information can be found at royalacademy.