The Soviet State that emerged from the 1917 Russian Revolution fostered a new visual language aimed at building a new society based on the socialist ideal. The decade and a half that followed the Revolution was a period of intense activity and innovation in the field of the arts, particularly amongst architects, marked by the use of pure geometric forms. The new State required new types of building, from commune houses, clubs and sports facilities for the victorious proletariat, factories and power stations in order to bring ambitious plans for industrialisation to fruition, and operations centres from which to implement State policy and to broadcast propaganda, as well as such outstanding monuments as Lenin’s Mausoleum.
Building the Revolution. Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935 illustrates one of the most exceptional periods in the history of architecture and the visual arts, one that is reflected in the engagement of such constructivist artists as Lyubov Popova, Alexander Rodchenko and Kazimir Malevich and Russian architects like Konstantin Melnikov, Moisei Ginzburg and Alexander Vesnin, as well as the European architects Le Corbusier and Mendelsohn. The exhibition features some 230 works, including models, artworks (paintings and drawings) and photographs, featuring both vintage prints from the 1920s and 30s and contemporary images by the British photographer Richard Pare. Building the Revolution. Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935, which is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts of London in cooperation with Fundació "la Caixa" and the SMCA-Costakis Collection of Thessaloniki, forms part of the 2011 Dual Year Programme from Spain to Russia and from Russia to Spain.
The exhibition Building the Revolution. Soviet Art and Architecture, 1915-1935 will be open to the public at CaixaForum Barcelona (Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8) from 4 February to 17 April 2011. It will later travel to CaixaForum Madrid (May 27 - September 18) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (October 2011 ? January 2012).