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Columbarium Architecture (Museum of Disappearing Buildings) from the portfolio Projects

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Columbarium Architecture (Museum of Disappearing Buildings) from the portfolio Projects

Artist Grouping: Brodsky and Utkin
Artist: Alexander Brodsky (Born in Moscow, Russia (formerly the USSR), 1955)
Artist: Ilya Utkin (Russian, Born in Moscow, Russia,1955)
Culture: Russian
Date: 1984 (printed 1990)
Medium: Etching on paper
Composition: 32 × 22 1/2 inches (81.3 × 57.2 cm)
Sheet: 42 1/4 × 30 3/4 inches (107.3 × 78.1 cm)
Frame: 49 1/2 × 38 × 1 1/2 inches (125.7 × 96.5 × 3.8 cm)
State: 178
Edition: 30
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin met while studying architecture at the Moscow Architectural Institute in the 1970s. At the height of Soviet-dictated architectural structural uniformity, together with other young designers, they began to submit fanciful architectural drawings to various international design competitions. This process earned them recognition as “Paper Architects” for imaginative buildings that could never be built in the Soviet Union.

The Projects portfolio is just such a body of submissions. Interwoven with architectural and historical plans, texts in the images convey Brodsky and Utkin’s comments on the suppression of originality and the systematic destruction of the quality of life in the former Soviet Union. Columbarium Habitale and Columbarium Architecture both comment on Moscow’s disastrous urban planning, which included the destruction of beautiful old buildings. In this pair of etchings, Brodsky and Utkin fantasize about the preservation of old homes and their inhabitants in surreal, uniform, square niches that resemble the poorly constructed, barren block apartments to which citizenry of the former USSR and Eastern European countries were assigned. KH

Object number: 1995.12.1.3