“Between 1922 and 1932, Soviet architects enjoyed one of the most fruitful decades of the century. Commissions were plentiful (some called it the “golden season”), and architects had amazing freedom to experiment with new ideas about how Socialism expressed itself at home and in the workplace. That all came to a severe halt in 1932, when Stalin consolidated Russia’s architects into one centralized, neoclassical school.”
Chicago’s Graham Foundation hosts a new exhibit, The Lost Vanguard, collecting the images of Richard Pare, a photographer who sniffed out the fragments of this lost school of architecture in the fallen Soviet Union. More than 15,000 shots have been exhibited at MoMA and published in Lost Vanguard: Russian Modernist Architecture 1922-1932.
A extended focus was put on the work of Konstantin Melnikov, his personal home—a cerebral, elegant cylinder punctured with diamond-shaped windows— a favorite subject.