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Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed at Chicago Architecture Foundation

CHICAGO.- ‘Startling,’ and ‘idiosyncratic’ describe the architecture in the newest exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) 224 S. Michigan Avenue. Free and open daily through October 3, Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed consists of 48 photographs of Modernist buildings that were designed and built behind the iron curtain during the 1970s and 1980s. A map of the building locations is also included in the exhibition.

French photographer Frederic Chaubin documented the structures during a five-year period. The exhibition was originally produced by the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.

These images show creative freedom from a nation usually thought to be devoid of imaginative work,” said Gregory Dreicer, Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs. “They are comparable in imaginative force to the designs of Bertrand Goldberg and Harry Weese.”

Visitors to the exhibition will find an engaging series of photographs of monumental buildings constructed during the last two decades of the Cold War. The structures represent a significant addition to the history of 20th century design. The Soviet government commissioned these bold and dramatic buildings, which include offices, schools and apartment buildings. U.S. agents monitoring the USSR once mistook a hotel for a missile silo.

A newspaper and a poster from the initial exhibition are available at the exhibition. Written in English and Russian, they provide an introduction to little-known buildings, many now threatened with demolition.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, CAF will host special programs to coincide with Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed. Details and schedules are at

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. The Chicago Architecture Foundation pursues this mission through a comprehensive program of architecture tours, exhibitions, panel discussions, and youth and adult education programs. Home to a new permanent exhibition: CHICAGO YOU ARE HERE, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ARCHICENTER is located at 224 South Michigan Avenue at Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. For further information visit or call 312.922.3432.

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