The recently released album-monograph Leonid Pavlov, published by the Milan publishing house Electa Architecture with the support of Yuri Grigoryan's Project Meganom bureau, became the first large-scale study of the work of one of the best, if not the most interesting and uncompromising architect of post-war Soviet modernism. And on the other hand - a tribute to the memory of the daughter of the architect, Alexandra Pavlova, co-founder of Meganom, who in 2010 was one of the main organizers of a large exhibition dedicated to her father's work at the Museum of Architecture. The authors of the collective monograph: Liya Pavlova, Olga Kazakova, Anna Bronovitskaya - told Strelki magazine about their impressions of the work on the book and the result, while we asked Nikolai Lyzlov, an architect who is known for his interest in the architecture of Soviet modernism.
This is a good book?
- You know how Vladimir Ilyich Lenin said about Gorky's book "Mother" - this is a very timely book. A very good book, the right book, the first swallow. Correct format, correct edition. It is strange that it came out only now, and not ten years ago. But better late than never, because this is more than just a book about Pavlov. This, finally, is a normal, good book about everything that concerns a whole layer of Soviet modernism, this very SovMod. And it’s right, probably, that we started with Pavlov, because he is an ideal figure, an ideal representative of style. In a good way - such a monochrome architect, and besides, he all, without a trace fits into the period. We recently celebrated exactly sixty years of the decree that, figuratively speaking, opened the gates for Soviet modernism. This entire period until sunset, until the end of the Soviet era, is covered with the work of Pavlov.
And his last building became a kind of monument to all Soviet architecture - his wonderful Parthenon, the Lenin Museum in Gorki. So the book is correct, it should have been. It is a pity that, as always, awareness comes to us one step later than necessary. So it was with the Russian avant-garde - somehow we did it later, later than necessary. We do not appreciate what we have.
That is, Pavlov is a key figure in Soviet modernism
- An iconic figure; generally speaking, there are a lot of them. There is a huge number of heroes, absolutely beautiful. You can't say - "best, worst" - or "first, second."
But Pavlov is universal in this sense. There is nothing in it to turn a blind eye to. His fate was so happy that he studied under Leonidov, and then, at the moment of our strange "Culture Two", he simply went to study again. And he studied again, but did not work in this genre. And he flew it so easily - just as Adenauer sat on his estate for the entire Hitler era, without spoiling his biography. So is Pavlov. As a result, he is absolutely sincere, absolutely whole, and this is very important. And the figure itself is great. It is also important that he was one of the few thinking, writing architects, speaking.
Do you remember there was an exhibition in the Museum of Architecture in 2010?
- Then the book should have come out. However, one cannot say that she was late, we are talking about eternity, and for her five to ten years do not matter …
What is your favorite Pavlov building?
- I really love Gorki Leninskiye. The Lenin Museum stands out from his work, as Pavlov himself said: he lived and built the Parthenon. This is a very ambiguous building. Pavlov in general is a man of meanings, very literary, among other things. In each of his works, he put a large number of some kind of encrypted ideas. It was important to him. In the building of the Lenin Museum, there are probably the most such meanings. As Pavlov himself is an iconic figure in the history of Soviet modernism, so the building itself is a landmark in the history of Pavlov himself. When he suddenly, being a modernist, made such an excuse for neoclassicism. And it's amazing how such flowers grow on modernist soil.
How do you, a convinced modernist, praise neoclassicism. In your opinion, can a modernist grow such flowers?
- It turns out that you can. It turns out that if talented, then there are no bad and good directions, as, indeed, in other types of arts.