The first UK show of Russia’s leading avant-garde architect is open in London this October at Calvert 22.
The artist/architect Alexander Brodsky creates large-scale installations that allude to the passage of time and the power of memory. His work ranges from site specific installations and pavilions to houses, restaurants and public art commissions – crossing the boundaries between art, sculpture and architecture. His immersive installations transform galleries using architectural elements, light and dark.
White Room / Black Room sees Brodsky transform an entire floor of the gallery into two rooms filled with light and darkness. Viewers enter through a small door and the space is divided into two contrasting rooms. They first encounter a seemingly endless corridor of white light and then a more confined darker chamber, hidden from view and filled with blackness.
At the centre is an intriguing octagonal structure containing a small fire within it that burns blue, illuminating the void around it and revealing a number of hunched figures sitting in its glow. The simplicity of the space evokes a sense of silence and solemnity. Visitors can only encounter the dark room by first travelling through the light and cannot exit the darkness without re-entering the light room.
Described as the “most important Russian architect alive today” Alexander Brodsky’s work is characterised by a unique ability to translate archetypal traditional forms using unexpected materials and experimental construction techniques. Brodsky, who graduated from the Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1978, first received international acclaim in the ‘80s with his utopian and imaginative paper architecture in collaboration with Ilya Utkin creating fantasy projects that were never meant to be realised.
His training has resulted in a practice that moves between the worlds of fine art and architecture. The work is both imaginative and ephemeral with projects ranging from an ice pavilion balanced on a lake to a fragile wooden structure on stilts poised at a precarious angle over the Klyazma Reservoir. His reconfiguration of reclaimed materials and modest objects, his evocative lighting, and his use of elemental substances, including oil, clay, sand, and ice, create a unique artistic vision. His functional buildings meld modernity and traditional elements. Known throughout Russia for his work as an exponent of “paper architecture”, Brodsky is becoming increasingly noted internationally for his architectural projects and site specific installations with exhibitions in major institutions across Europe and the USA.
To coincide with the exhibition, there is an events programme.
3 October 2012 – 25 November 2012