Today I made my way from the NYPL Schwarzman building over to Columbia University’s Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. I half wondered if I’d bump into Louis Proyect along the way. After some sifting through the WorldCAT I discovered that some of the original source documents I’d been looking for were in Columbia’s collection.
Most astoundingly, I happened across a copy of the architectural avant-garde group ASNOVA’s sole publication, Izvestiia ASNOVA(Известия АСНОВА), from 1926. Unlike their rivals, the architectural Constructivists in OSA, the Rationalists of ASNOVA were never able to maintain a steady periodical of their own. Still, it’s a beautifully designed text; none other than El Lissitzky worked on its layout. It has some interesting theoretical pieces by Nikolai Ladovskii on architectural pedagogy and the insights of Münsterburgian psychotechnics into the effects of various formal combinations on the mind. Also, it includes the article in which El Lissitzky unveils his famous Wolkenbügel proposal, describing some of the specifics of the project.
Though it’s only eight pages long, this piece is incredibly rare to find in its full-text form. A few quotes and passages from the journal are often cited in passing, but no one to date seems to have taken the time to digitize it. So anyway, I copied some images of it and ran it through some text-recognition software and then uploaded it for everyone. Just click on the above link to download it.
. IMAGE:Lev Rudnev’s City of the future (1925),
before his turn to Stalinist neoclassicism .
An update on the Modernist Architecture Archive/Database I discussed a couple posts ago. I’ve begun work on it, and have uploaded almost half of the documents I intend to include. Only a few of the Russian ones are up yet, but I’m hoping to post them over the next couple days. There are many more on the way.