Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to celebrate the upcoming holiday season with Winter Tales, opening Tuesday, November 17 at 41 East 57th Street, Suite 704. The exhibition runs through Tuesday, December 22, 2015. Gallery hours are 11 AM – 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment.
Winter Tales features the work of four contemporary photographers from northern Europe and Russia, all of whom have dedicated significant portions of their careers to capturing the singular beauty and poetry of the region’s harsh climate. The exhibition includes the St. Petersburg cityscapes of Alexey Titarenko (b. 1962, St. Petersburg); photographs from northern Russia, Finland, and Bulgaria by Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki); panoramas and unique paper positives from Belarusian photographer Igor Savchenko (b. 1962, Minsk); and selected large-format snowscapes from British photographer Nicholas Hughes, (b. 1963, Liverpool) whose work is included in the new Harvard University Press publication Photography and the Art of Chance.
A shared concern with the unique environmental qualities of the northern winter, as well as a commitment to craft and fine printmaking, unite the four photographers’ distinct bodies of work. In Titarenko’s images of St. Petersburg, figures and façades disappear behind a windswept scrim of snow and mist, the atmosphere made manifest by the photographer’s characteristic long exposures and meticulous hand-toning. Snow in the city has the quality of a palimpsest, recording and erasing the footprints and tire tracks that serve as signs of human life; while in Hughes’ photographs, it is so untouched as to appear eternal and abstract. Sammallahti’s masterful gelatin-silver prints, fruits of his travels through the remote villages of the far north, are animated by the lived experience of the season – as are Savchenko’s panoramas, which call to mind the winter landscapes of Brueghel. His “paper shots” offer a more intimate, immediate point of view. Each print is a unique positive image, the paper exposed in-camera and processed to reveal an icy step or a fragile sapling.