cover image Ivan Leonidov

Ivan Leonidov

Rizzoli, A. Gozak. Rizzoli International Publications, $65 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0951-6

It is sad that the vast majority of sketchbook plans and competition entries reproduced in this album were never built. Ivan Leonidov (1902-1959) was surely one of the most innovative and humanistic architects to come out of early Russian modernism. His Constructivist-inspired projects embody the same revolutionary spirit as Vladimir Tatlin's celebrated 1919 tower. In his later buildings, medieval Russian motifs mingle with pyramids, amphitheaters, pagodas, to reflect his love of Eastern and classical cultures. Many of his visions were quixotichis United Nations headquarters, for example, or the Island of Flowers park in the Dnepr Riverbut all are inspirational. Vilified in the 1930s, Leonidov has lately undergone a ``rehabilitation'' in the Soviet Union. This international collaboration includes a perceptive essay by Moscow architect Gozak, a valuable reminiscence by Leonidov's son, and period documents organized by Cooke, lecturer in design at the Open University, England. (Oct.)