Utopia Ltd

While London Design Festival will be in full swing by next weekend, not all eyes are on the capital.

El Lissitzky, New Man, 1921

Source: Courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design.

El Lissitzky, New Man, 1921

Over in Little Portland Street in central London, a new show of Russian design and art is opening, showcasing some incredible Soviet avant-garde artworks, and others that have been reconstructed for today’s audiences.

Gustavs Klucis, Design for a Folding Stand for Slogans and Posters,1922

Source: Courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Gustavs Klucis, Design for a Folding Stand for Slogans and Posters,1922

 For the Utopia Ltd exhibition to be held at GRAD gallery, model maker Henry Milner has created some beautiful, frequently esoteric sculptural pieces informed by the geometric experiments of Soviet artists including El Lissitzky, Gustavs Klucis and Aleksandr Rodchenko.

Henry Milner after El Lissitzky, New Man (Progress)

Source: courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Henry Milner after El Lissitzky, New Man (Progress)

He will also be presenting his reworkings of designs by Vladimir Tatlin, including this beautiful avian creation, Letalin:

Vladimir Tatlin, Letatlin

Source: Courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Vladimir Tatlin, Letatlin

The fragile flying machine is inspired by the anatomy of seabirds, but forged together through the lens of Russian Constructivism. According to the gallery, the piece ‘[epitomises] the figure of the Soviet artist-as-engineer.’

Henry Milner after Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International

Source: Courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design.

Henry Milner after Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International

GRAD gallery says, ‘Where the Constructivists advocated for collaboration and momentum in their work, Milner accepts their open invitation to continue and experiment with forms and materials’.

Gustavs Klucis, Design for a Stand with Rotating Slogan Workers of the World Unite, 1922

Source: courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Gustavs Klucis, Design for a Stand with Rotating Slogan Workers of the World Unite, 1922

Alongside the reconstructions, a series of works by Gustavs Klucis, ‘the youngest of the Constructivists’, according to the gallery, will be on show.

Henry Milner after El Lissitzky, New Man (Progress)

Source: Courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Henry Milner after El Lissitzky, New Man (Progress)

These pieces exemplify the traits of Soviet Modernism, looking to utilise design and public artwork to push the Communist agenda.

Prints, documentary film and photography from the period will also be on show, aiming to create an overview of the artistic side of the revolution and its visual culture.

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Oval Hanging Construction

Source: courtesy GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Oval Hanging Construction

Utopia Ltd runs from 21 September – 20 December at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, 3-4a Little Portland Street, London W1W

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  • Belle November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Any Malevich?!

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