FOTOFEST 2012 BIENNIAL FotoFest Exhibitions
CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN PHOTOGRAPHY
After Stalin, “The Thaw”

The Re-emergence of the Personal Voice - The late 1950s-1970s


FotoFest at Williams Tower Gallery, 2800 Post Oak, Houston, Texas
 
 
Vladimir Lagrange, The Alphabet of the Deaf, c. 1960
Courtesy of the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow.
With Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953 and the rise to power of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet government opened a period of episodic reforms that became known as “The Thaw.” Between alternating years of openness and years of constriction, artists managed to find independent avenues for self-expression. In twenty-five years of complex shifts in the political, cultural and economic life of the Soviet Union, there was space for the development of a personal voice, even in one of the most closely supervised areas of Soviet culture – photography.

These reforms created the possibility of closer contact with non-Communist nations, including the United States, which presented two important and wildly popular U.S.-organized art exhibitions in Moscow in 1959 – Edward Steichen’s Family of Man and the American National Exhibition.

Many of the works in this section of the Russian exhibitions are vintage photographic prints on loan from private collectors Natalia Grigorieva and Edward Litvinsky, founders and owners of the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow, founded in conjunction with one of the first private galleries in Russia devoted to fine art photography.

Other works come from members of Novator, one of the most important and enduring of the independent Russian photography associations, founded in the early 1960s by individual photographers and photography lovers in Russia. More than photo clubs, the intent of these associations was to open a space where photographers could present and discuss new ideas in photography, and re-visit the unofficial, often banned, works of Russian-Soviet photography of the previous three decades. Members of these associations shared historical and contemporary works not approved by the state.

Featured artists include:

Alexander Abaza
Yury Abramochkin
Victor Ahlomov
Max Alpert
Dmitry Baltermants
Anatoly Boldin
Alexander Borodulin
Lev Borodulin
Vitaly Butyrin
Michail Dashevsky
Boris Dolmatovsky
Vasily Egorov
Anatoly Erin
Emmanuil Evzerikhin

Semyon Fridlyand
Igor Gavrilov
Elena Glazycheva
Igor Gnevashev
Mikola Gnisyuk
Mikhail Grachev
Naum Granovsky
Alexander Grashchenkov
Zinaida Karetnikova
Valentin Khukhlaev
Yury Korovin
Jury Krivonosov
Vasily Kunyaev
Vladimir Lagrange

Galina Lukianova
Jury Lunkov
Oleg Makarov
Nikolay Matorin
Vilhelm Mikhailovsky
Alexandres Matsiyauskas
Eduard Musin
Igor Palmin
Sergey Petrukhin
Lev Porter
Nikolay Samoilov
Boris Saveliev
Lev Sherstennikov
Valentin Sobolev

Antanas Sutkus
Vsevolod Tarasevich
Sergey Ter-Oganesov
Mikhail Trakhman
Boris Trepetov
Oleg Tsesarsky
Isaac Tunkel
Alexander Ustinov
Alexey Vasiliev
Alexander Vikhansky
German Vorotnikov

 


 
Mikola Gnisyuk, People in Trees (The Rooks Have Arrived), 1964. 
Courtesy of Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow
©2012 FotoFest | 1113 Vine Street, Suite 101, Houston, Texas USA | 713.223.5522 | info@fotofest.org
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