Documenting an emerging brawny, masculine age of industry in Russia is the task undertaken by Arkady Shaikhet in a series of striking photographs on exhibit at the Nailya Alexander Gallery.
Crisp, well composed images bring history to the eyes of the viewer today in no uncertain terms.
The need to build a new country after the destruction from both the Bolshevik revolution and the Civil War called for master photographers with innovative techniques. These photographers were asked to reflect reality in a new way, to present the new Soviet person, and to shape a new culture. Photography was truly employed on a grand scale as the Soviet authorities were realizing the power of the photographic image as means of propaganda. Experimentation with the photographic language and energetic discussions
about art (problems of form and style, in particular) facilitated the creation of a new
visual style in Soviet photography, and put Soviet photographers on a par with their
foreign colleagues in Paris, Berlin and New York. Arkady Shaikhet was one of the
photographers involved in the creative experiments, although he by no means considered himself a member of the avant-garde, preferring to record life ‘as it is.’
Through January 15.
For more information: Arkady Shaikhet
The Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti is on display starting January 20 : Pentti Sammallahti