The exhibition headlined “Le Corbusier. The Secret Laboratory: between art and architecture” opened at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow to run through November 18th.
By Tatiana Zavyalova, This is the first time that Le Corbusier`s legacy is so widely represented in Russia. The collection features over 400 pieces created by outstanding French architect of the 20th century: paintings, drawings, wooden sculptures and tapestries, tables, armchairs, photographs and architectural models. This all helps to have a deeper insight into the life of Corbusier as a pioneer of modernism. The architect’s legacy includes buildings in twelve countries, including Russia. In Moscow he designed the Tsentrosoyuz Building on Myasnitskaya Street which currently is the home to the Russian State Committee for Statistics. Constructed in 1933, the building still looks impressive. Le Corbusier was very interested in working in the Soviet Union, he was inspired by the Soviet ideology of a new world order. Encouraged by the success of his first project in Moscow, Le Corbusier expected his project of the Palace of the Soviets to be implemented, too. But the jury was not impressed with the interior designs which they found ‘too liberal’. Professor at Sorbonne in Paris and at the New York Institute of Fine Arts, Jean-Louis Cohen: “Le Corbusier invented the so-called architectural promenade,a kind of a pathway which allowed people walk freely inside the building.” In the 1930s Le Corbusier suggested a new look on the Moscow urban policy but his ideas were not accepted. Today when the Russian capital is expanding the ideas again sound up-to-date. The deputy director of the Moscow Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Andrei Tolstoy: “In the 1930s the central Moscow looked differently. Now we can hardly breathe due to the jam packed traffic even in broad streets. Then practically all streets in Moscow were much narrower. Le Corbusier predicted the city expansion and offered his solution.” It took two years to prepare the exhibition at the Pushkin Museum. The company’s unchallenged director Irina Antonova insisted that the collection transported from France comprised as many pieces as possible, including Le Corbusier`s collection of sea shells. The Barcelona School of Architecture made over 10 architectural models byLe Corbusier especially for the exhibition in Moscow. By the way, the Tsentrosoyuz Building in Moscow designed by Le Corbusier is open to everyone willing to have a stroll inside this modernist building. Soon, a memorial dedicated to the great constructivist architect is going to be unveiled outside the Tsentrosoyuz. Source: Voice of Russia, Image: flickr.com