Critics' reactions to Building the Revolution:
Soviet Art and Architecture, 1915-1935

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Dezeen Wire:
 art and architecture critics have been offering their opinions on Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture, 1915-1935, an exhibition presenting the revolutionary imagery of communist Russia at the Royal Academy in London.

The Observer's architecture critic Rowan Moore explains that, although much of the architecture is fundamentally flawed, it had a lasting impact on subsequent creative movements and says "the buildings and paintings of the 1920s are presented to the Academy's bourgeois crowds as an interesting alternative to Degas' ballet dancers."

Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times also writes about the legacy of Constructivism, stating: "part of the fascination here is the juxtaposition of these pure compositions with contemporary images of the architecture they inspired," adding that the exhibition could offer a lesson on dynamic and memorable presentation to those with contemporary anti-capitalist views.

Art critic Judith Flanders reviews the show for The Arts Desk and says that while the exhibits are spectacular, there is a moral concern regarding the display of projects that glorify a Communist regime that was responsible for millions of deaths, suggesting that it takes "aesthetic objectivity too far."

In a preview in The Independent (see our previous story), architecture critic Jay Merrick claimed the exhibition re-energises the meaning of the word "revolution" in art and architecture, adding that it "is an irony-free zone, a laboratory containing some of the stark experiments that ignited the most radical movement that modernist art and architecture has ever known."

The exhibition continues at the Royal Academy until 22 January.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 3:22 pm by Alyn Griffiths. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • abstractconcept

    Well someone should add to the Art critic Judith Flanders, that some of the artist and architects that developed those drawings were afterwards rejected by a much more classical and Imperial obsession from the Communist dictatorships. Those found that the image of great power was easier achievable with classical pastiche. And the great lesson behing is that even when there is people dreaming about a better future for the masses there is always a political view that only thinks on their convenience and destroys the good will behind. The problems with communism comes from the politics that are on control, not from the people that were trying to improve the way of living.
    The proof is that communist countries didn't turn out anything close to those images, and many of the artists and architects from that period were forced to change their views or even to end their carriers to become something else.