The Hungarian architect László Rajk’s (1949-2019) body of work constitutes a playful and poetic challenge to conventional understandings of the built environment and the boundaries of the architectural profession. Consisting principally of works on paper (competition entries, graphic design, architectural fantasies), maquettes, set designs, installations, and essays, Rajk’s oeuvre reflects both the professional consequences of his political activism as well as the aesthetic and theoretical sensibilities of the neo-avant-garde circles from which he emerged. Across genres and mediums, Rajk’s approach to space is striking for its historically-grounded eclecticism, its formal engagement with Russian constructivism, and its sensitivity to human interactions in the built environment.
Staging Future Worlds: The Architectural Visions of László Rajk, co-curated by Andi Soos and Isi Litke and hosted by Valerie Goodman Gallery, is the inaugural solo exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States. Bringing together drawings, blueprints, ephemera and archive photos from the 1980s, the exhibition explores the formal and conceptual origins of his distinctive architectural style in the classical Russian avant-garde, situating his work alongside contemporaries across the Eastern Bloc engaged with the aesthetic and political legacies of Constructivism and Suprematism. Also included from this transformative decade of Rajk’s career are his early digital drawings, which anticipate his lifelong interest in the relationship between the tradition of visionary architecture and other art forms dedicated to constructing immersive worlds.