Exhibition

  • Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980
    Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić
    Curators
    The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Summer 2018
  • GRANTEE
    The Museum of Modern Art
    GRANT YEAR
    2017

Miodrag Živković, Monument to the Battle of Sutjeska, 1965-71, Tjentište, Bosnia and Herzegovina. View of the western exposure. Photo: Valentin Jeck, commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017.

The Museum of Modern Art presents Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, the first major exhibition in the United States to examine the modernist architecture of the region. The exhibition introduces the exceptional built work of socialist Yugoslavia's leading architects to an international audience—among them, Bogdan Bogdanović, Edvard Ravnikar, Vjenceslav Richter, and Juraj Neidhardt. The exhibition features more than 400 drawings, models, photographs, archival reproductions, and film reels culled from an array of municipal archives, family-held collections, and museums across the Balkan Peninsula. The unique range of forms, embodied identities, and modes of production in Yugoslav architecture cohere into a distinct architectural culture and invoke new introspection of the contemporary global cultural condition.

Martino Stierli is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, a role he assumed in March 2015. Mr. Stierli oversees the wide-ranging program of special exhibitions, installations, and acquisitions of the Department of Architecture and Design. He is the leading organizer for the forthcoming exhibition, Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980. His scholarship has been recognized with a number of prizes, among them the ETH Medal of Distinction for Outstanding Research (2008), the Theodor Fischer Prize by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich (2008), and the 2011 Swiss Art Award for Architectural Criticism. Mr. Stierli has taught at various Swiss universities, including the universities of Zurich and Basel as well as ETH Zurich. From 2003 to 2007, he was part of the graduate program Urban Forms-Conditions and Consequences at ETH Zurich, from which he received a PhD in 2008. His books include Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film.

Vladimir Kulić is the co-curator of Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 and is associate professor of architectural history and theory at Florida Atlantic University. His work focuses on architecture in East-Central Europe during the socialist and post-socialist periods. His books include Modernism In-Between: The Mediatory Architectures of Socialist Yugoslavia (coauthored with Maroje Mrduljas, with photos by Wolfgang Thaler, 2012); Unfinished Modernizations: Between Utopia and Pragmatism (co-edited with Maroje Mrduljas, 2012), and Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities (co-edited with Monica Penick and Timothy Parker, 2014). His articles have been published in the Journal of Architecture, Centropa, the Journal of Contemporary History, and Architecture Beyond Europe.

Anna Kats is a curatorial assistant in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art. She is an alumna of Barnard College of Columbia University, where she studied Slavic languages and architectural history, and was previously the architecture and design editor of Artinfo. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, which awarded her an academic-year fellowship to study post-war architecture in Latvia; the Harriman Institute of Columbia University; and the United States Department of Education. She contributes frequently to a variety of monographs and journals, and her writing has been published in Artforum, Architect, and Metropolis, among others.

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