Georgy Petrussov (1903-1971)
Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, Moscow, 1939
The Sculpture was created by Vera Mukhina for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris
Vintage gelatin silver print
11 1/2 x 9 1/8 in. (29.2 x 23.2 cm)

The Sculpture crowned the Soviet Pavilion opposite the Nazi Germany Pavilion. It was relocated to Moscow and placed outside the All-Russia Exhibition Center when it was opened in 1939.

Abram Shterenberg (1894-1979)
Portrait of Mayakovsky, 1924
Vintage gelatin silver print
Mounted to original mount
9 1/8 x 6 5/8 in. (23.2 x 16.8 cm)
Signed and dated on mount recto

Abram Shterenberg probably was the first photographer who took portraits of Mayakovsky (c. 1923). Rodchenko used his portraits for the photomontages for "Pro Eto" (About This), the love poem Mayakovsky wrote for his muse Lili Brik.

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Portrait of Mayakovsky

Aleksandr Rodchenko
Portrait of Mayakovsky, 1924
Gelatin silver print, printed later
4 1/4 x 3 1/8 inches (10.8 x 7.9 cm)
 

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Portrait of Mother, 1924
Gelatin silver print
7 5/16 x 11 5/16 in. (18.6 x 28.7 cm)
Rodchenko stamp on verso
Reproduced in Soviet Photo No. 5, 1991
This is one of the first Rodchenko's photographs, a compelling portrait of his mother who learnt how to read in her late years. 

Arkady Shaikhet (1898–1959)
First Soviet Cars for Export, 1929
Vintage gelatin silver print
Signed and titled on verso
Photographer's stamp on verso
9 1/2 x 7 in. (24 x 18 cm)

Globe

Assembling the Globe at the Moscow Telegraph, 1928
Gelatin silver print
Signed, titled and stamped on verso
9.5 x 7.3 inches
 

Boris Ignatovich, Control Lever, 1930

Boris Ignatovich
Control Lever, Dinamo Factory, 1930
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
Photographer's stamp on verso
7 x 10 3/4 inches (17.8 x 27.3 cm)
 


 

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959)
Soldiers Studying the First Soviet Tractor, 1929
Vintage gelatin silver print
Signed and titled on verso
6 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (17.5 x 23.2 cm)

Boris Ignatovich, Our First Cars, Mossel'prom Garage, Moscow 1933

Boris Ignatovich
Our First Borns, 1933
YaG-3 five ton trucks from Yaroslavl' State Automobile Factory at the Truck Park of Mossel'prom, Moscow
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
Photographer's stamp on verso
6 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (15.9 x 24.1 cm)
 

Bakhme'ev Garage, 1933

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Bakhmet'ev Garage, 1933
(Constructivist garage built in 1927, designed by Konstantin Mel'nikov and Vladimir Shukhov) 
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
9 1/2 x 6 inches (24 x 16 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso

Boris Ignatovich
With a Board, 1929
Gelatin silver print mounted on board
23 5/8 x 18 1/2 inches (60 x 47 cm)

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Shower, 1935
Gelatin silver print mounted on board 
23 1/4 x 16 5/8 inches (59.1 x 42.2 cm)


"In 1935, photographer Boris Ignatovich, a former member of the October Group, took a photograph of a group of young, athletic men in a public shower. It showed one figure sitting in the foreground, his muscular back to the viewer, with more bathers standing together in the background. Ignatovich's friend, painter Alexander Deyneka, came across this photograph and asked if he could use it as a prototype for one of his paintings. Later he produced a work which he himself considered to be a failure in comparison to the original photograph."
Arts Magazine, November 1989. Independent curator, scholar and critic Margarita Tupitsyn, Ph.D.

 

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959)
Express, 1939
Gelatin silver print
15 11/16 x 21 1/4 in. (39.8 x 54 cm)
Signature and stamp on verso

This photograph is an embodiment of dynamism, a symbol of the new Soviet society moving towards a bright future. The steam conceals the wheels and the engine appears almost like a dirigible about to take off. The sky is superimposed for a more dramatic effect. Published in Soviet Photo #2 in 1940, this photograph became one of the greatest achievements of Soviet photography. Soviet design in the late 1930s cannot be imagined without the Soviet metro, aviation and this Express engine.
 

Solomon Telingater, The Red Army is Watching, 1931

Solomon Telingater
The Red Army is Watching, 1931
Photocollage with gelatin silver print, indian ink, and white gouache
11 1/3 x 8 1/5 inches (28.8 x 20.8 cm)

Original maquette for a Soviet propaganda poster on an illustration for one of the major propaganda magazines. The elaborate retouching indicates that the maquette was actually used for publication.
 

Armenian Delegation

Georgy Petrussov (1903-1971)
Armenian Delegation at the Parade on Red Square, Moscow, 1935
Vintage gelatin silver print
18 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (46.99 x 31.50 cm)
 

Sergey Shimansky (1898-1972)
Navy Fleet, Black Sea (men from Sevastopol), 1930s
Vintage gelatin silver print on thick paper
15 x 22 7/8 in. (38.1 x 58.1 cm)
“Foto S. Shimansky” stamp on verso
Title and date in Cyrillic on verso

Georgy Zelma, "Red Army Parade," 1932

Georgy Zelma
Red Army Parade, 1932
Gelatin silver print, printed later
7 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (19.1 x 29.2 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso
 

Arkady Shaikhet, Pamir Road, 1934

Arkady Shaikhet
Pamir Road, 1934
Gelatin silver print
Photographer's stamp and signature on verso
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches (15.6 x 23.5 cm)
 

Arkady Shaikhet, In Flight, 1930s

Arkady Shaikhet
In Flight, 1930s
Gelatin silver print
Photographer's stamp and signature on verso
6 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (15.9 x 24.1 cm)
 

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959)
Drying sheep skin, 1930s
Gelatin silver print
6 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (16.2 x 21.9 cm)

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Strastnoy Boulevard, Moscow, 1938
Gelatin silver print, mounted on board
21 5/8 x 15 3/8 inches (54.9 x 39.1 cm)

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Monument to Ferdinand Lassalle, 1930
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
Photographer's stamp on verso
9 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches (24.1 x 15.9 cm)

Boris Ignatovich, Lunch in the Commune, 1928

Boris Ignatovich
Lunch in the Commune, 1928
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
16 5/16 x 9 1/2 inches (16 x 24 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso
 

Boris Ignatovich, Farm Cafeteria, 1933

Boris Ignatovich
Farm Cafeteria, 1933
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
10 x 6 11/16 inches (25.3 x 16.9 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso
 

Motherhood

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Motherhood, 1938
Gelatin silver print, mounted on board
18 ½ x 23 ¼ inches (47.1 x 59.1 cm)
 

Street Scene 1930's

Semyon Fridlyand
Untitled, 1930s
Vintage gelatin silver print

7.8 x 6.5 in. (20 x 16.5 cm)
 

 

Georgy Petrussov (1903-1971)
Harvest, 1935
Vintage gelatin silver print
15 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (39.4 x 26.7 cm)
Signed and titled on verso by Petrussov's wife

Yakov Khalip (1908-1980)
Building of the Council of Ministers, 1935
Vintage gelatin silver print
15 1/2 x 10 7/8 in. (39.4 x 27.6 cm)
Title and signature on verso
Label from the Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries on verso

Memory of Spartakiada, 1933

Evgeny Khaldey
Memory of Spartakiada, 1933
Collage
6 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches (16.5 x 19.1 cm)
Signed and dated on verso
 

Georgy Zelma (1906-1984)
Sport Parade, 1930s
Vintage gelatin silver print
6 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (16.8 x 11.7 cm)
Stamped on verso

Emmanuil Evzerikhin, Training for Parade, 1930s

Emmanuil Evzerikhin (1911-1984)
Rehearsal for Sport Parade, 1935
Gelatin silver print, printed later
Signature and stamp on verso
7 x 11 inches (17.8 x 27.7 cm)
 

Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959)
Greeting the Cheluskin Men, 1934
Vintage gelatin silver print
5 5/8 x 7 3/4 in. (14.3 x 19.7 cm)

pioneers

Ivan Shagin
Pioneers on Red Square, 1936
Vintage gelatin silver print
10 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches (27.3 x 18.4 cm)
Fototeka stamp on verso, signature on verso

Emmanuil Evzerikhin, Pioneer with Trumpet, 1930s

Emmanuil Evzerikhin (1911-1984)
Pioneer with Trumpet, 1930s
Gelatin silver print, printed later by photographer
9 1/8 x 6 5/8 inches (23.2 x 17 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso
 

Tractor

Boris Ignatovich
First Tractor (American Fordson Tractor), 1926
Gelatin silver print, printed later
9 x 7 inches (22.9 x 17.8 cm)
Photographer's stamp on verso

Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976)
Pioneers and Homeless Children, May Day, 1927
(Marching on Tverskaya Street, Moscow)
Gelatin silver print, mounted on board
18 1/2 x 23 inches (47 x 58.4 cm)

Press Release

Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to present Russian Photography after the Revolution, opening Thursday 7 September, with a reception at the gallery from 6:00-8:00 PM. The exhibition coincides with the centennial of the Russian Revolution of 1917, an occasion that is also being recognized with shows at the Museum of Modern Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Tate Modern; the Royal Academy of Arts, London; the Swiss National Museum, Zürich; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

One hundred years ago this fall, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution shook the world, changing the course of history and the fate of photography in Russia. Soviet photographers were handed the monumental task of creating a new mythology for the people of Russia, founded on striking visual symbols of collective progress, patriotism, and self-sacrifice. The result was a golden age of Russian photography in the 1920s and 1930s, marked by the emergence of experimental and constructivist photography and by the birth of Soviet photojournalism. Photographers began exploring the vast possibilities of this new medium, which allowed them to probe the complexities of multi-dimensional space; to experiment with perspectives, diagonal compositions, and close ups; to reveal the interplay between light and shadow; and to capture fleeting moments and minute details. In this way, the revolution ushered in not just a new political order, but a new vision of the country and of the world.

As photographers travelled throughout the newly formed Soviet Union, photographing industrial projects, collective farms, sporting events, cityscapes, and military parades, they were not only documenting events, but were active participants in the construction of a new reality. With advancements in printing and publishing technologies, and the subsequent proliferation of magazines, journals, and posters, images and information were able to reach the vast, largely illiterate swaths of the Russian population for whom the sight of modern machinery and massive military and athletic formations was an extraordinary revelation. Photography became recognized as the most powerful and significant propaganda tool of the nascent government.

Russian Photography after the Revolution will feature rare, large-format gelatin silver prints by Boris Ignatovich (1899-1976), a master of the Soviet avant-garde; Arkady Shaikhet (1898-1959), widely considered to be the founder of Soviet photojournalism; and Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), perhaps the most acclaimed figure in early twentieth-century Russian art and design; as well as Abram Shterenberg (1900-1979), Georgy Petrussov (1903-1971), Semyon Fridlyand (1905-1964), Sergey Shimansky (1898-1972), Solomon Telingater (1903-1969), Emmanuil Evzerikhin (1911-1984), Yakov Khalip (1908-1980), and Georgy Zelma (1906-1984).

Russian Photography after the Revolution is on view through Thursday 30 November. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and by appointment.