Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Storefront in L.A.

comes to Los Angeles with the exhibition

Architecture of the last two decades of the Soviet Union photographed by Frédéric Chaubin

Opening Reception - Friday, April 11, 7pm

Pop-Up Storefront @ Paper Chase Printing
7176 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(2 blocks west of La Brea @ Formosa)

April 11 - May 17, 2008

Gallery hours:
Wednesday - Friday, 3pm - 8pm
Saturday - Sunday, 1pm - 8pm

About the Pop-Up Storefront project...
Since 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture has gained a reputation for bringing innovative, groundbreaking and controversial exhibitions on architecture, art, and design to New York City from its gallery space in SoHo. This year, the gallery will begin a new chapter in its history which will carry the gallery beyond the confines of New York. A series of new Storefronts will pop up in cities around the world to host events and exhibitions in partnership with local cultural institutions, and then will disappear. The very first ever Pop-Up Storefront will debut on April 11, on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood.

Pop-Up Storefront LA is sponsored by American Apparel
Local Partners: ForYourArt and Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design

Architecture of the last two decades of the Soviet Union photographed by Frédéric Chaubin

Over the past five years, during the course of his travels in the former Soviet Union, French photographer Frédéric Chaubin has documented an extensive collection of startling architectural artifacts born during the last two decades of the Cold War. Architects in the peripheral regions of the Eastern Bloc countries, working on governmental commissions during the 1970s and 1980s, enjoyed a surprising degree of creative freedom. Operating in a cultural context hermetically sealed from the influence of their Western counterparts, they drew inspiration from sources ranging from expressionism, science fiction, early European modernism and the Russian Suprematist legacy
to produce an idiosyncratic, flamboyant and often imaginative architectural ménage. Unexpected in their contexts, these monumental buildings stand in stark contrast to the stereotypical understanding of late Soviet architecture in which monotonously repetitive urban landscapes were punctuated by vapid exercises in architectural propaganda.

The subjects of Chaubin's photographs, scattered throughout Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, were all constructed during the last two decades of the Soviet era. Very few of their designers achieved anything more than local recognition, and until now these buildings have never been collectively documented or exhibited. The authors of many works remain unknown, and some have been destroyed since Chaubin's photographs were taken. Conceived and executed during a moment of historical transition, they constitute one of the most surprising and least known legacies of the former USSR.

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