Brodsky & Utkin -- Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin are the best known of a loosely organized group of Soviet artists known as "Paper Architects," who designed much but built little in the early days of Glasnost, in the late 1980s. Many of their elaborate etchings, in which they depicted outlandish, often impossible, structures and cityscapes of allegorical content, were collected in our 1990 book Brodsky & Utkin. Now, with the addition of forty-three new and never-before-published prints, we are pleased to announce this updated edition.
In their designs, by turns funny, cerebral, and deeply human, Brodsky & Utkin borrow from Egyptian tombs, Ledoux's visionary architecture, Le Corbusier's urban master palns, and other historical precedents, collaging these heterogeneous forms in learned and layered scrambles. Underlying the wit and visual inventiveness is an unmistakable moral: that the dehumanizing architecture of the sort seen in Russian cities in the 1980s and 1990s, and elsewhere around the globe, takes a sinister toll.
A new preface assesses the works of Brodsky & Utkin and reminds us that the greatest art is often born of adversity. Beautifully printed in 300-screen dry-trap duotones by the Steinhauer Press, Brodsky & Utkin is a book for artists, architects, and collectors alike.
Lois Nesbitt is a writer on art and architecture who lives in New York.