Russians Manage to Produce Impressive Architecture Despite Oppression. In Your Face, Stalin!

Richard Pare's photo of the Shabolovka Radio Tower.Courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Modern Art, New York

The fall museum season may not officially begin until September (Richard Prince at the Guggenheim! Rembrandt at the Met!), but the Museum of Modern Art is getting a head start with two new August shows — JoAnn Verburg's retrospective opened to the public yesterday, and "Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32," opens Wednesday. In spite of Stalin's pending ascent to power (and the overall oppression that followed), the Russians managed to produce some highly progressive architecture. Case in point: Richard Pare's dizzying shot of the Shabolovka Radio Tower. The tower's construction occurred at the very same time as the Russian Civil War, which was no doubt a massive inconvenience for all parties involved. —Rachel Wolff