This exhibition of photographs was organized by the Centre for National Monuments, the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture (Moscow) and the State Melnikovs Museum (Moscow), and is featured in the programme of the Month of Photography. The exhibition aims to promote a visual dialogue between the world-renown works of the Russian architect Konstantin Melnikov with that of Le Corbusier. The exhibition is curated by Pavel Kuznetsov, Anna Kistanova and David Madec.
In the framework of the Franco-Russian Year of Cultural Tourism, the National Monuments Centre has twinned four French monuments with four Russian monuments. The villa Savoye (Poissy, France), built by Le Corbusier, and the house of Konstantin Melnikov (Moscow,Russia), named after its creator and architect, were twinned in 2016. Both works are modernist in character and both left a lasting imprint on their times and had a long-term effect on subsequent works by other architects. The two architects met in 1925 when Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974) completed the construction of the Soviet pavilion for the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris. On this occasion, Le Corbusier (1887 -1965) made a visit to his Russian colleague to survey his works. As a distant echo of their discussions, the exhibition offers through the series of reproduced images an introduction into the works of Melnikov: his exhibition pavilions, people’s houses, garages and some of his unfulfilled projects. The Melnikov house is also represented through a series of drawings and photographs projected inside the villa Savoye. Photographing the architecture – especially that of the master architects – is a very specific genre that the exhibition concentrates upon. The portraits of the two men by Henri Cartier-Bresson will also become the highlight of the show, which aim is to make the works by both architects (and perhaps, the exchange between them) better appreciated and understood.
To commemorate this project, a young talented artist Tatyana Gorelova, made an animated film Melnikoff about life and work of K. Melnikov. The screenplay for the animated film was written by Anna Kistanova, one of the curators of the exhibition.