Homage to Italy

23 April 2014

The large exhibition “All About Italy! Architectural Graphics of the XVIII — XXI Centuries” opened in the Engineering building of the Tretyakov Gallery, dedicated to the country that is a place of pilgrimage for architects and artists, and home to the modern architectural language. The exhibition presents drawings and watercolors from Moscow private collections and works of contemporary architects from their personal collections.

The exhibition presents an unprecedented variety of masters of architectural graphics from the 18th to the 21st century and beautiful design, inspired by the expressiveness of the forms of Italian monuments. The round and oval rooms, designed in part by Sergei Tchoban, refer the viewer to a recognizable form of the Colosseum or an ancient theater, and make this very special genre entertaining and aesthetic.

Архитектурный рисунок, Сергей Чобан

Architectural drawings, an accessory instrument of the architect, nevertheless, will require a careful and thoughtful viewer: they contain a lot of important details. As Sergei Tchoban noted in an Archcouncil interview: “Precision in proportions, essence of the landscape, interaction of spaces, the effect of light on materials, shapes, details — everything that makes architecture unique, you can experience by seeing and drawing Italy.” Architects will find many familiar themes — the views of the Roman Forum, the Villa Medici park, Roman triumphal arches and terms and other monuments, long ago becoming a part of classical architectural education. However, for those who are not architects, the exhibition organizers have promised a series of lectures and discussions that will help them to understand the nuances of the genre.

Архитектурный рисунок, Александр Бенуа

The subject of Italy allowed the curators — Irina Sedova (Tchoban Foundation), Nina Markova (Tretyakov Gallery), Nadezhda Bartols (director of the Berlin Museum of Architectural Graphics) — to designate a single cultural field, which included also Russian architects and artists. Rome is the place of the intersection of the creative paths of the Royal Academy of Architecture graduate Thomas de Thomon, whose classic buildings largely determined the appearance of St. Petersburg and, for example, Vasily Bazhenov, who became the first pensioner of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Архитектурный рисунок, Михаил Филиппов

The 20th century, which is presented in a separate room, was the epoch of searching for a new language of expression and recognizable architectural motifs — the subject of the vivid imaginations of Alexander Benois, Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Ivan Fomin, etc. Inside this room there is a third, the core with the latest content — works from four of our contemporaries — the architects Maxim Atayants, Sergey Kuznetsov, Sergei Tchoban and Mikhail Filippov. Their continuity with previous generations of masters does not need to be explained. As Sergey Kuznetsov, the chief architect of Moscow, noted at the opening, the architects exhibited here are well aware how a high level of craft is inextricably linked with the profession. “Today often we forget that architecture, in addition to square meters has a highly artistic, aesthetic aspect, which is not achieved with a calculator in hand, but rather with a pencil, a brush, and interaction with nature and monuments.” In the end, the capitalization of architecture is a relatively new parameter for its evaluation, whereas expressivity, strength and perfection of forms have been familiar marks of architectural quality for centuries, added Kuznetsov.

Архитектурный рисунок, Сергей Чобан

The exhibition “All About Italy! Architectural Graphics of the XVIII — XXI Centuries” is on view from April 18 to July 27, 2014 in the halls of the Engineering building of the Tretyakov Gallery, 12 Lavrushinsky Lane. The exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery will host a series of events with the participation of well-known contemporary architects and critics. The program will be published on Archcouncil’s website.

Images: the Tretyakov Gallery

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