Iakov Chernikhov. Geometry Codes

18 Sep — 13 Dec 2015 at Erarta Museum in St Petersburg, Russia

11 SEPTEMBER 2015
Iakov Chernikhov
Iakov Chernikhov

On September 18 Erarta Museum will open a retrospective of one of the most outstanding and dramatic figures in Soviet architecture of the first half of ХХ century.

Iakov Chernikhov is a Soviet architect, painter, graphic artist, and a theorist of architecture. His graphics, especially the works of the 1920s-1930s, significantly influenced development of modern architecture and design.

Russian avant-garde architecture is represented mainly by graphics, and only few projects were actually realized and survived to nowadays. Moreover, not every avant-garde architect of that time was so skilled in drawing. Chernikhov’s works are often compared with Konstantin Melnikov’s, Ivan Leonidov’s and even utopias by Ivan Fomin. But, in reality, Chernikhov’s works carry their own, completely unique graphic codes and images.

Versatility of Chernikhov’s intellection allowed him to survive collapse of avant-garde “culture 1” and continue working in Stalin's time, during the triumph of “culture 2”. Iakov Chernikhov’s creative formation was smooth and steady, but tragic notes of his fantasies grew brighter over the time. Thus, the ruins of “The Palaces of Communism” in the early 1940s became an expression of epic crash of the communist dream in the 1920s. “The Architecture of Industry”, “Architectural Fantasies”, “The Palaces of Communism”, — all these works were imbued not only with spirit of modernity, but with despair and fear of future.

The large-scale exhibition at Erarta will feature over 170 works of Iakov Chernikhov, including architectural models based on his original drawings. Considering the weighty contribution of Iakov Chernikhov to the development of world contemporary architecture, graphics and design, the exhibition has not only cultural but also historical value.