January 18, 2019

Toward a Concrete Utopia


Last year, New York’s MoMA staged the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 (on view from July 15, 2018 to January 13, 2019), dedicated to concrete architecture and its wide-ranging impacts.

Situated between the capitalist West and the socialist East, Yugoslavia’s architects responded to contradictory demands and influences, developing a postwar architecture both in line with and distinct from the design approaches seen elsewhere in Europe and beyond. The architecture that emerged—from International Style skyscrapers to Brutalist “social condensers” — is a manifestation of the radical diversity, hybridity, and idealism that characterized the Yugoslav state itself. Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 introduces the exceptional work of socialist Yugoslavia’s leading architects to an international audience for the first time, highlighting a significant yet thus-far understudied body of modernist architecture, whose forward-thinking contributions still resonate today.

Toward a Concrete Utopia explores themes of large-scale urbanization, technology in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization, and the global reach of Yugoslav architecture.

© 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, New York