Lois Nesbitt, Alexander Brodsky, Ilya Utkin con Brodsky & Utkin
Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin are the best known of a loosely organised group of Soviet artists known as "Paper Architects," who designed much but built little in the early days of Glasnost, in the late 1980s. Many of their elaborate etchings, in which they depicted outlandish, often impossible, structures and cityscapes of allegorical content, were collected in our 1990 book Brodsky & Utkin, and our 2003 reprint which included an additional forty-three new and never-before-published prints. In their designs, by turns funny, cerebral, and deeply human, Brodsky & Utkin borrow from Egyptian tombs, 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 sinister toll...
"Between 1978 and 1993, Soviet architects Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin created a series of beautifully complex drawings of buildings they never expected would be built. In a new edition of a book collecting their work, Brodsky & Utkin, the range of their "paper architecture" is on display." - Slate
"Though times have certainly changed in Russia and beyond, Brodsky and Utkin's paper architecture is still poignant and pertinent: a timeless meditation on what it means to live in a city, whether that city is Moscow or Manhattan." - Forbes.com
"This 80-page collection of their work is proof that creativity always thrives, even under difficult conditions." - Selectism
"Looking at the images today, there is resonance with the enduring alienation of huge cities, and the desire for some presence in the fray." - Hyperallergic
"Highlighting the work of arguably one of the country's leading young architectural practices, MOS: Selected Works offers valuable insight into the pair's life and philosophy, not only as architecture professionals, but also as state-of-the-art designers and thinkers." - Wallpaper*
"The studio's greatest strength - as this book shows - is that its work surprises and delights but always with clarity and focus." - Surface
"Open this stylishly designed album and you will be immediately drawn into the world of poetic utopia. A claustrophobic endless labyrinth of the Intelligent Market. A Glass Tower, a vertical city striving to reach unto heaven. A Crystal Palace imag- ined as a beautiful but unrealizable dream. Going from one drawing to the next, you will discover new architec- tural dimensions as dreams, theater, storytelling, fables, memories... Now that our profession is obsessed with efficiency and pragmatism, this book reminds us why we wished to become architects in the first place." - Arquitectura Viva
Lois Nesbitt is a writer on art and architecture who lives in New York.