Masterpieces of Soviet Photography is a selection of photographs from the collection of celebrated sports photographer Lev Borodulin, known for his artistic images of athletes, skaters and swimmers.
This exhibition reflects Borodulin’s long-standing quest to collect and preserve images from a time when art was restricted to serving a Soviet socialist agenda. The photographs Borodulin collected over decades now constitute one of the largest collections of Soviet photography in the world and include prints by the greatest masters working in the medium, such as Arkady Shaikhet, Yakov Khalip, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Boris Ignatovich, along with many others.
Borodulin began collecting in the days following the end of the Second World War, when he was asked to create a photo-chronicle of battles fought by his former regiment.
What started as a hobby became a lifelong passion. The collection grew as Borodulin continued to make friends with and acquire the work of famous military photojournalists such as Max Alpert, famed for his pictures of the front line, and Dmitri Baltermants, whose depictions of charging soldiers and village women grieving their dead on the battlefield have become iconic war images. Working at Ogonyok the Russian version of Life magazine and sharing a small darkroom with Dmitry Baltermants, during the 1950s gave Borodulin the opportunity to expand his collection further.
The collection was added to by his son, Aleksander Borodulin, also a prominent photographer, and has been exhibited worldwide including at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, and the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
Exhibition curated by Maya Katznelson and Ben Burdett
Masterpieces of Soviet Photography
1 – 24 November 2018
49 Dorset Street
London W1U 7NF