Lubetkin in Russia: From civil war-ravaged USSR to Socialist Realism | Essay | Architectural Review
Lifelong Marxist and proletarian architect #Berthold_Lubetkin shed light on all things Russian, critically presenting the stories of avant-garde Soviet architecture, Constructivism and Socialist Realism to the rest of the world
‘To the English reader’, writes the editor of the Architectural Review in its May 1932 issue, ‘a discussion of architecture in terms of “ideology” will be somewhat startling. The very word may give him a headache’. So did the AR introduce ‘Berthold Lubetkin, one of the well-known proletarian architects’ to the English-speaking public, in a special issue on Russia. Here, for the first time, Georgian-born Lubetkin began his role as explainer of all things Soviet, one which he would resume 20 years later. Although he never built a single structure in the USSR and spent far less of his career there than in Britain, he was a semi-official architectural attaché of the Soviet government, working on its pavilions at international expos, before going into private practice first in Paris, then more famously in London. He was also a lifelong Marxist, and it is this especially that was expected to alarm the readers of the AR.