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Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Calvert 22 Gallery Announces Close and Far: Russian Photography Now

Calvert 22 Gallery presents Close and Far: Russian Photography Now on view 18 June–17 August 2014.

Alexander Gronsky, Pastoral, 2008-2012. photograph. Novye Mytishchi I, Suburbs of Moscow, Russia. Courtesy of the artist.
Alexander Gronsky, Pastoral, 2008-2012. photograph. Novye Mytishchi I, Suburbs of Moscow, Russia. Courtesy of the artist.
Close and Far introduces some of Russia’s most original young artists working in photography and film. Alexander Gronsky, Olya Ivanova, Taus Makhacheva, Max Sher, and Dimitri Venkov show their work alongside the extraordinary photographs of a rediscovered pre-Revolutionary master.

When Nicholas II, the last Tsar, commissioned an early pioneer of colour photography to document his vast empire in the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, he presided over the largest territory in the world. Romanov Russia extended from Finland to Turkestan, and from Poland to Siberia. That photographer, an aristocrat called Sergey Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky, was to travel by boat, train and horse-drawn carriage, non-stop for six years, carrying his delicate glass plates and astoundingly complex chemistry with him. From 1909 to 1915, he journeyed down the Volga, across the Urals into Siberia, south to the Caucasus and on to Turkestan and Asian Russia. Prokudin-Gorsky made pictures of places that had never previously existed, and went to regions that have never been photographed again. All were captured in colour, in a startling burst of luminosity before the world disappeared back into black and white.

Russia is smaller now, yet it is still the largest country in the world, and still a land of dramatic extremes and diversity. In this third decade since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is grappling both with its past and with its future. Where Prokudin-Gorsky witnessed first-hand the effects of Russian imperialism, today’s young artists are working in the aftermath of the collapse of both the Romanov and the Soviet empires, in the space of less than a century. Close and Far explores how they are approaching the subject of identity and place in post-Soviet times.

Talks and events:

Panel discussion: Close and Far
Thursday 19 June, 7 – 9pm
Kenneth Clarke Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London WC2R

To coincide with the exhibition, Close and Far: Russian Photography Now, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Calvert 22 host a panel discussion reflecting on the key themes in the exhibition. Panellists include Kate Bush, curator of the exhibition Close and Far; London-based curator Daria Kirsanova and artists Max Sher and Carlos Noronha Feio. Introduction by Professor Sarah Wilson.
Organised in collaboration with the Research Forum of The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Curator’s talk
Thursday 24 July, 7–8:30pm
Calvert 22

Kate Bush, the curator of Close and Far: Russian Photography Now, gives a tour of the exhibition at Calvert 22 and discusses the core ideas behind her research.

Studio Visit
Wednesday 30 July, 7–8:30pm
Calvert 22

As part of the ongoing series Studio Visit, Join artist Joanna Piotrowska as she discusses her photographic project of family portraits, FROWST, in relation to Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations, a therapeutic method which draws on family system psychology. Piotrowska will also be talking about her series of photographs 5128, which document the aftermath of Operation Vistula, the 1947 forced resettlement of post-war Poland’s Ukrainian minority.

Calvert 22 Gallery
22 Calvert Avenue
London E2 7JP
Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High St / Old St / Liverpool St
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday noon–6pm,
First Thursdays and bank holiday weekends noon–9pm
Admission free
T +44 (0) 20 7613 2141
[email protected]