Within the framework of Photobiennale 2020 parallel program.
From February 6th to March 29th, Ruarts Gallery will host a new exhibition «The Dream», which will present recent works of Mikhail Rozanov and Alexey Guintovt, dedicated to the last great architectural style — Soviet neoclassicism. The exhibition will be a visual reflection on this unfulfilled magnific imperial project.
A new series of works created by a famous Moscow photographer Mikhail Rozanov includes photographs of sculptures that top off the most significant buildings of the capital and usually remain invisible to passers-by: monumental and decorative compositions of Moscow State University, The Russian State Library, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, the Central VDNKh Pavilion, etc. Firm in his pure, geometrical style, Mikhail captures the moment of the encounter of some sporadical accomplished examples of the generally unrealized Soviet dream and an accomplished large-scale urban project embodied in Moscow panoramas.
Architectural utopia is also one of the favourite themes of Alexey Guintovt. In a new series of works performed on gold covered canvases, he depicts grandiose but unrealized projects of the Soviet era: Project of the Palace of Soviets (V. Schuko, V. Gelfreich, 1933), Central Aeroflot Building (D.N. Chechulin, 1934), Architecture on bridges (Y. Chernikhov), Project of the Palace of Soviets (B.M. Iofan, 1933), showing such Moscow that it never became.
Soviet neoclassicism, with all its pomp and grandeur, was not just an architectural style, but the embodiment of the image of the new world. Inheriting the traditions of Greek, Roman and Renaissance architecture, freely operating with elements of The Empire style and Art Deco, it would have been to incorporate the best examples of architectural world heritage and to become a symbol of an ideal future. As architecture historian Vadim Bass wrote about it: “Buildings exist simultaneously in two guises: as material, completely utilitarian reality and as a promise. As an essay on an ideal future inhabited by ideal people-functions similar to sculptures of pioneers and scientists at metro stations.” Both Mikhail Rozanov and Alexey Guintovt meditate on this promise, on this unfulfilled dream capturing in their own manner and technique the invisible examples of the imperial Soviet style.
According to the authors, the works presented at the exhibition deliberately do not include any ethical dimension, they conduct only an aesthetic mission - to demonstrate and celebrate the beauty of the last great style of the Russian capital and the grandeur of a colossal architectural idea.