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Tashkent: A Modernist Capital

Tashkent: A Modernist Capital
Photographs by Karel Balas, Text by Beatrice Grenier, Preface by Chris Dercon
Architecture - History - Contemporary (1945-)
October 01, 2024
10-2/5 x 13-4/5
$85 USD

A shrine to Soviet modernist architecture, Tashkent is a rare jewel of modernism rediscovered in this book.

Established sometime around the 1st or 2nd century BCE, Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan and the largest metropolis in Central Asia benefiting from its historical role as geographic crossroads, its developed resources, and its thriving multiculturalism. Previous Soviet rule was established in 1917—which over six decades heralded transformations in Tashkent’s culture, identity, and, of course, its landscape and architecture.

In this extraordinary volume, realized in collaboration with the Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation, photographer Karel Balas reveals the modernist architecture of Tashkent through a collection of never-before-seen photographs. Constructed between the 1960s and early ’90s, these buildings stand as powerful metaphors vis-à-vis Tashkent’s past and present, painting a picture of its rich cultural heritage. Part of the overlooked Soviet modernism movement, the expression of this new architectural style represents a vision and social function for the city as a whole—all the while connoting the specific character and modernization of Central Asia. Whether a 1964 cinema, the State Museum of the Arts, the 1970 Lenin Museum, or the striking Hotel Uzbekistan dated 1976, each structure tells a captivating story about one of the most enthralling cities on the Asian continent.

About The Author

Karel Balas is a French photographer and artistic director. His work has been published in MilK Decoration, Elle Décor Italia, Living, and theSunday Telegraph, and he has worked for Chloé, Dior, Fendi, Kenzo, Lacoste, and Tommy Hilfiger, among many others. He is the photographer of Secret Houses: Living in Menorca (Rizzoli, 2023). Béatrice Grenier is a writer and curator based in Paris. She is Director of Curatorial Affairs at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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