Politics and Architectural Imagination: Ideal Cities of Georgii Krutikov and Hugh Ferriss

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The aim I set myself is to investigate the relationship between the imagined city and the rhetoric of "new frontier" in works by Georgii T. Krutikov (Gorod budushchego - City of the Future, 1928), and by Hugh Ferriss (The Metropolis of Tomorrow, 1929). I want to interpret the circumstances that prompted these two architects to suggest intruiging concepts of the ideal city in which both authors employed similar metaphors associated with height and a skyward trend applied to urban space. Why is the improbable idea of "flying" buildings such an important part of Krutikov's city, and why does Ferriss's metropolis evoke mountainous formations? Since Krutikov's proposition coincided with the adoption of Stalin's First Five-Year-Plan, and Ferriss's publication concurred with the Wall Street Crash, my interest leads me to reevaluate these two projects according to ideas residing outside of aesthetics. Hence, my paper considers how artistic practice is interconnected with socio-political issues.

Keywords: Politics and Art, 1920s Architecture in USSR and USA, Frontier Ideology, Ideal City, Ferriss, Krutikov
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Politics and Architectural Imagination

Dr. Aleksandra Idzior

Art History Instructor, Visual Arts Department, Univerity of the Fraser Valley
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I hold art history degrees from Poland (MA - UAM, 1986), my native country, and from Canada (MA - UofT,1994). In 2005 I completed my doctoral studies in Art History at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (dissertation "Urbanotopia and the Frontier: Reaching Heights before the Crash in Moscow and New York at the End of the 1920s"). Since 2002 I have been working as an Art History Instructor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, Canada. My research concentrates on images and objects produced in nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am committed to new theoretical perspectives and to interdisciplinary approaches to the history of art, architecture and visual culture. Published articles: “Urbanotopia and the Frontier in Moscow and New York at the End of the 1920s,“ in: The Journal of Architecture, (2006); “Distance and Proximity in History Painting by Piotr Michałowski. Emanuel Leutze and Adolph Menzel,“ in: Robert Born, Adam S. Labuda, Beate Störtkuhl, eds. Visuelle Erinnerungskulturen und Geschichtskonstruktionen in Deutschland und Polen 1800 bis 1939 / Wizualne konstrukcje historii i pamięci historycznej w Niemczech i w Polsce 1800 – 1939, Warszawa: Instytut Sztuki PAN, 2006 .

Ref: A09P0232