Within the broad phenomenon of Americanism, a system of cultural transfer characteristic of modernity and modernization worldwide, the most paradoxical bilateral relationship has been that between Russia and the United States during the twentieth century. Every historical conjuncture in Soviet history has been characterized by changing representations of America’s technology, territorial development, architecture, and visual culture.
A comprehensive analysis of a phenomenon - all too often limited to the monumental case of the high-rise buildings erected in the late Stalinist era - implies the analysis of discourse, designs, and buildings, as well as politics, art, literature, and technology.
Trained as an architect and historian, Jean-Louis Cohen has held the Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts since 1994. For the past three years, he has also served as a guest professor at the Collège de France. His research focuses on the French, German, and Soviet architectural avant-gardes, on colonial situations, and on the planning history of Paris. He has published more than thirty books, including: France, Modern Architectures in History (2015), Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes (2013), The Future of Architecture Since 1889 (2012), Architecture in Uniform (2011), Mies van der Rohe (2007), Casablanca, Colonial Myths and Architectural Ventures (2002), and Le Corbusier and the Mystique of the USSR (1992). Among the numerous exhibitions he has curated include the centennial show “L'aventure Le Corbusier” (1987), at the Centre Georges Pompidou; “Scenes of the World to Come,” and “Architecture in Uniform" at the Canadian Center for Architecture (1995 and 2011); “Interférences/ Interferenzen – Architecture, Allemagne, France,” at the Musées de Strasbourg (2013); “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” at the Museum of Modern Art (2007). He received the special mention of the jury for his French pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.