Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (Construction of Moscow), 1929, no. 4; cover designed by Gustav Klutsis; collection of Stephen Garmey
Wallach Art Gallery's new exhibition, Architecture in Print: Design and Debate in the Soviet Union, 1919-1935 -- Selections from the Collection of Stephen Garmey, takes viewers back to the early 20th century, when the Soviet architectural press was a forum for architects, artists, designers and theorists to debate the future of the built environment.
The visually stunning and innovative publications in this exhibition include contributions by many of the most brilliant artists and graphic designers of the Soviet avant-garde: Aleksei Gan, Gustav Klutsis, El Lissitzky, Aleksandr Rodchenko, the Stenberg brothers, Varvara Stepanova and Solomon Telingater. Magazines such as Sovremennaia Arkhitekura (Contemporary Architecture) and Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (Construction of Moscow) were the sounding boards through which many of the most important architects of the period -- Moisei Ginzburg, Ivan Leonidov, Konstantin Melnikov and the Vesnin brothers -- developed their ideas and projects.
As artifacts of a turbulent phase of architectural history, the journals, magazines, books and related ephemera provide an opportunity to focus in unprecedented depth on the Soviet architectural press as an evolving field, defined by tense and shifting syntheses of avant-garde design and political debate. The relationship between the architectural press and the broader field of print media not only reveals the centrality of architectural and constructivist imagery in early Soviet culture but also demonstrates the role of the press in the building of socialism.
SA (Contemporary Architecture), 1930, no. 6; cover designed by Solomon Telingater; collection of Stephen Garmey
The extensive private collection of Stephen Garmey is the source of most objects in the exhibition. The special collections of Avery Art and Architectural Library and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library provide supplementary materials.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery will host a talk with curators Richard Anderson and Kristin Romberg, including a conversation with the collector Stephen Garmey, on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m.
The Wallach Art Gallery is located on the eighth floor of Schermerhorn Hall. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (closed May 27-28 for Memorial Day). The exhibition runs through June 11. For more information, c all (212) 854-7288.