23 May 2019

Phillips to Display Tatlin’s Model for the Monument for the Third International in the Park Avenue Cube


Monumental Work Offered for Private Sale

NEW YORK – 23 May 2019 – Phillips is pleased to announce that a reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin's Model for the Monument for the Third International, a fusion of architecture and sculpture with motorized elements, will be on view in the Park Avenue Cube at 432 Park Avenue from 29 May 29 through 12 June. The monumental structure is available for private sale.


Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the sculpture commemorating one of the most visionary unbuilt structures of architectural modernism stands over 16 feet high, the same scale as Tatlin’s original model. The dynamic structure is motorized, demonstrating Tatlin’s radical plans to create moving chambers within it.


Miety Heiden, Deputy Chairman and Head of Private Sales at Phillips, said: “We are proud to present this extraordinary structure, allowing today’s audiences to experience Tatlin’s visionary design in the Park Avenue Cube, a perfect setting for a sculpture of this scale and magnitude. It is a rarely seen creation that deserves to be seen by the wider public – and this is the perfect opportunity.”


Alongside Kazimir Malevich, Tatlin was widely considered the most important figure of the Soviet avant-garde of the early part of the twentieth century. Commissioned to create a monument to the Bolshevik Revolution in St. Petersburg, Tatlin conceived of his building as the headquarters for the Third International – the world organization of the Communist party founded in 1919 and intended to spread global revolution.


Tatlin’s radical proposal was for a towering structure in steel and glass with the unprecedented height of 1,300 feet – a third taller than the Eiffel Tower. The dynamic forms that Tatlin envisioned for The Monument are anchored by a thrusting diagonal girder around which two spiraling forms wind upwards. Within the steel frame, Tatlin designed four tiers of glass-walled structures that would rotate at different speeds. Lowest was a cylindrical chamber that would house the legislature and revolve once a year; above it was a slanted pyramid designed to hold the government’s executive branch and rotate once a month. Third highest was a smaller cylinder that turned once a day and would house the press bureau; this, in turn, is surmounted by a hemisphere that would rotate hourly and was conceived to contain a radio station and an apparatus for projecting slogans into the sky.


The structure on exhibition at Phillips is a careful reconstruction of Tatlin’s Monument executed in 1967 and 1968 under the supervision of Museum Director Pontus Hultén, who would go on to become the founding director of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. This model was shown in 1968-1969 as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark The Machine at the End of the Mechanical Age exhibition, which united Modernist innovations with contemporary electronic and kinetic works. Placed in MoMA’s sculpture garden during the exhibition, it was also shown the following year at the 1970 Venice Biennale.



Exhibition Info:

Private viewings of the sculpture at the Park Avenue Cube can be scheduled by appointment only.

432 Park Avenue – 56th Street & Park Avenue, New York