Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce Boris Ignatovich: Master of Russian Avant-Garde Photography presented in collaboration with the Boris Ignatovich Estate, Moscow. This is the first ever solo exhibition held in New York for Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976), a towering figure in Russian Constructivist photography. The exhibition features some of the artist’s most celebrated photographs from the 1920s and 1930s, including large-scale gelatin silver prints of unprecedented size (29 x 39 inches) made by Ignatovich himself for the 1969 exhibition at the Moscow Central House of Journalists in honor of his seventieth birthday. We are privileged to exhibit these one-of-a-kind art objects in the gallery for the first time in nearly fifty years.
The history of Russian art cannot be imagined without Ignatovich, a great innovator, who left an indelible mark on the evolution of early Soviet experimental photography, and reformed reportage with startling perspectives and artistic expressiveness. Ignatovich worked under the philosophy that his work should not only reflect the life and culture of the Soviet Union, but actively shape it. His bold compositions, rich lighting contrasts, and striking insights capture new industry, architecture, working people and daily life during a turbulent period. “The revolution in Russia swept away the bourgeois order and the bourgeois aesthetic,” writes historian of Russian photography Valery Stigneev. “The builders of a new society needed their own language and idols. On this great, fast-moving wave of art rose Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Deineka, El Lissitsky, and others. More accurately, they made this Art. Boris Ignatovich made Photography.”
Ignatovich took his first reportage photograph in 1923 for the humor magazine Smekhach in Petrograd. He used a pocket kodak camera capturing the Soviet writer Mikhail Zoshchenko buying apples near the magazine’s office. By 1927 he became a picture editor for the famous newspaper Bednota, also contributing photographs to the publication about changes happening in both urban and rural life…
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Nailya Alexander Gallery
41 e 57th Street, Suite 704 New York, NY 10022 USA
January 11, 2018 to March 17, 2018