M. Vitoukhnovsky
Untitled (Stairs), 1920’s
Gelatin silver print
6 5/8 x 9 in.

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Portrait of Mayakovsky, 1924
Gelatin silver print
10 5/16 x 7 3/8 in.

Alexander Grinberg
Estate of Prince Galitsyn, Kuzminki
Gelatin silver print, 1910
Signed in pencil, titled in pen on verso
8 1/2 x 11 5/8 in.

Nikolai Petrov
Portrait of an Actress, 1908
Toned gelatin silver print, mounted
Signed in pen on mount verso
8 7/8 x 6 1/2 in.

Nikolai Andreyev (1882-1947)
“Serpoukhov Winter,” 1920’s
Cyan toned gelatin silver print
Signed titled in pencil on mount verso
8 x 9 ½ in.

Sergey Ivanov-Alliluev (1891-1979)
Jester, 1928
Artist’s name, title, and date typed on mount
7 ½ x 6 3/8 in.

M. Vitoukhnovsky
Untitled (Portrait of Young Man from Caucasus), 1920’s
Gelatin silver print, mounted
Signed on mount in pen, signed on verso in pencil
7 x 5 3/8 in.

Alexander Grinberg (1885-1979)
Untitled (Hands), 1921
Silver bromide print
Signed in Russian on mount
Label in English from exhibition in Canada 1928, also on mount
5 1/8 x 7 1/8 in.

Moisei Nappelbaum (1869-1958)
“Lenin,” 1918
Gelatin silver print, mounted
Signed on mount
6 x 4 ¼ in.

M. Vitoukhnovsky
Untitled (Portrait of Young Girl), 1920s
Gelatin silver print
Signed on verso
6 ¾ x 5 15/16 in.

Max Alpert (1899-1980)
Shepherd, 1930s
Gelatin silver print
Artist’s stamp and Novosti Agency stamp on verso
8 7/8 x 6 7/8 in.

Mikhail Tarkhanov (1888-1962)
Untitled, 1920s
Gelatin silver print
4 9/16 x 3 3/8 in.

Mikhail Tarkhanov (1888-1962)
Untitled, 1920s
Gelatin silver print
4 ½ x 3 3/8 in.

Arkady Shishkin (1899-1985)
Now we can live, 1935
Gelatin silver print, mounted on board
Titled in pencil on mount verso
15 3/8 x 22 7/8 in.

Sergey Lobovikov
Village Hut, Vyatka, 1920s
Bromoil transfer
9 1/8 x 12 1/2 in.
Signed on recto

Alexander Grinberg (1885-1979)
Model, 1927
Bromoil transfer
9 ¼ x 7 in.

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Rehearsal Staged by Igor Terentiev at the White Sea Canal, 1933
Gelatin silver print, mounted on paper
Signed by Terentiev, writing on mount also by him
3 7/8 x 5 6/8 in.

Moisei Nappelbaum (1869-1958)
Untitled (Portrait of Man with Cigarette), 1920’s
Gum pigment print
9 ½ x 7 ½ in.

Valentina Kulagina (1902-1987)
Untitled, 1938
Photomontage, created for the Entrance of the Syberian Pavillion
at the VDNKh (All-Union Agricultural Exhibition)
63 x 33 in.

Moisei Nappelbaum (1869-1958) and Igor Terentiev (1892-1937)
Portrait of an Actress, 1928
Gelatin silver print
Signed on recto mount
8 ¼ x 6 ¼ in.

Olga Lander
Untitled (Women assembling haystacks), 1930s
Gelatin silver print
Signed on verso
8 ¾ x 11 in.

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Untitled, 1923
Photomontage for Vladimir Mayakovsky poem “About This”
15 ¼ x 10 in.

Vasily Ulitin (1888-1976)
Man of the Future, 1924-1925
Signed on lower right corner of mount
Label from Moscow Photo Exhibition 1924 on lower left corner of mount
10 ½ x 8 ½ in.

Semyon Fridlyand
Gelatin silver print
Singed on verso
17 x 12 3/8 in.

Arkady Shaikhet
Café, 1930
Gelatin silver print, printed 1960s
10 11/6 x 7 7/16 in. (27.1 x 18.9 cm)

Viktor Bulla (1883-1938)
May Day (Tram), 1920
Gelatin silver print
Artist’s title and date on back
4 x 6 in.

Viktor Bulla (1883-1938)
Cleaning Day, 1920
Gelatin silver print
Artist’s title on verso
4 ½ x 6 ¼ in.

Viktor Bulla (1883-1938)
Labor Rules the World, May 1st, 1920
Gelatin silver print
Titled and dated in pencil
4 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.

Arkady Shaikhet,
"Water-Pipes to Hydro-Electrical Station," 1930
Gelatin silver print
11 1/8 x 8 1/4 in.

Press Release

Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce “From Pictorialism and Avant-Garde to Socialist Realism: Russian Photography, 1920s-1930s.” The exhibition of rare vintage photographs, will feature sixteen masters, including Max Alpert (1899-1980), Nikolai Andreev (1882-1947), Viktor Bulla (1883-1938), Semyon Fridlyand (1905-1964), Alexander Grinberg (1885-1979), Sergey Ivanov-Alliluev (1891-1979), Valentina Kulagina (1902-1987), Sergey Lobovikov (1870-1941), Moisei Nappelbaum, Nikolai Petrov (1874-1940), Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959), Arkady Shishkin (1899-1985), Mikhail Tarkhanov (1888-1962), Vasily Ulitin (1888-1976) and M. Vitoukhnovsky (-).

The 1920s in Russian photography were the most exciting years, an age of great experiments. Photographers from different styles exhibited at major salons both at home and abroad. As in the West, modernist photography was coming into vogue, while the pictorialist movement was still popular with photographers who continued to explore printing techniques and remained faithful to their aesthetic ideals. Highlighted are works by Sergey Lobovikov using bromoil processes in his evocative images of the Russian rural life, and portraits of Russian “types” made by Vitoukhnovsky who traveled throughout Russia. Alexander Grinberg celebrated the human form in his studies of movement and nudes. Victor Bulla documented demonstrations and avant-garde street decorations of Petrograd of the early 1920s. Famous master of studio portraiture, Moisei Nappelbaum, created portraits of prominent revolutionaries, scientists, and cultural figures, and the exhibition will showcase a portrait of Lenin made in 1918, among others. Alexander Rodchenko’s first portraits of Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1924 became iconic. The exhibition also features some rare abstract photographs by a lesser known artist Mikhail Tarkhanov, who studied under Vasily Kandinsky in Vkhutemas in the early 1920s. This was a time of the birth of Soviet photojournalism, and the work by Arkady Shaikhet and Max Alpert, its most important founders, are in the exhibition.

Photography became the most effective art form and propaganda tool for the new Soviet society with t rise of socialist realism in the 1930s. The Masters of Soviet Photography exhibition in 1935 was the last to feature works of all genres side by side. The variety of styles ceased to exist by the end of the decade, pictorialism was forbidden for its lack of ideological content, avant-garde photographers were accused of formalism, and Alexander Grinberg was sentenced to a labor camp for eroticism. Gradually, images of optimism and the glorification of Stalin populated magazines and Soviet cinema. In the exhibition, Valentina Kulagina’s photomontage created for the entrance of the Siberian pavilion at the VDNKh (All-Union Agricultural Exhibition) is one of the greatest examples of socialist realist art.