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El Lissitzky's "Sketch for Proun 6B." Don't miss the revelatory Soviet architecture exhibition at the Royal Academy this week

The curly tower in the Royal Academy’s forecourt is a model of something that was supposed to be 400 metres high. At about 30 feet, this is a reconstruction of a design by artist Vladimir Tatlin, commissioned straight after the Russian revolution to be erected in Petrograd (as St Petersburg then was).

It was never built. The RA’s model announces what might seem, alongside Degas’s ballet dancers (gleaming in the main gallery until December…

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