back to top

Silver city. Saint-Petersburg photography XX – XXI

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography and the Foundation of informational and cultural projects “FotoDepartament” present a new exhibition “Silver city. Saint-Petersburg photography XX – XXI”.

Last winter the personal exhibition of Alexander Kitaev “Inconceivable St.Petersburg” was held in the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography. It was the first exhibition of our big project, dedicated to the St. Petersburg school of art-photography. Today, together with Olga Korsunova (“FotoDepartament”) and Arkady Ippolitov (State Hermitage), we continue to tell Moscow audience about this special part of the Russian photography history.

The exhibition “Silver city. Saint-Petersburg photography XX – XXI” is based on the work of the photographers whose names are connected with the so-called “St.-Petersburg school”. This term, which just recently became current in the art sphere, is connected not only with geography, but with a certain type of consciousness which implies a special attitude to the world around.

St.-Petersburg has a unique place in the history of Russia, as well as in the history of the whole Europe. It is a city that still preserves the atmosphere of the 19th century, the time when photography was invented. The city’s photography underlines it’s originality in a distinct way. No matter what photo-artist shoots – landscape, portrait or still life – the city is always exuded in the picture together with the silver halogens. Every photography tells us a story about the City. So it`s not surprising that last year the exhibition was held in Bordeaux (France) under the title “The stories of St.-Petersburg. Manual photography”.

Apart of the stylistic originality this photographic school is also characterized with its technical matter, which keeps the connection with the traditions of the 19th century. As a result of some chemical reactions and different authors’ techniques each image becomes original, because it’s impossible to produce two exact copies. On the exhibition all the diversity of authors’ shooting and printing techniques will be represented: from the shootings with soft-focus lenses and monocles, negative scratching and multiple exposition, to solarization, photogram and rendering.

The exhibition opens with the works made in 1960s by Bronislav Yasinsky, photographer, whose name is unknown even for those who is involved into photography art. He was one of the first Russian photographers who worked in the conditions of severe censorship, but managed to exceed the limits of purely amateur photography and comprehend photography as a free and self-sufficient art. Besides the exhibition includes Boris Smelov’s works, one of the most important photographers not only in Leningrad – St.-Petersburg, but in the whole Russia, and works made by the photographers from his circle – Leonid Bogdanov, Boris Kudryakov, Olga Korsunova, Alexander Kitaev, Stas Chabutkin, Sergey Zhirkevich and others. It was Boris Smelov who managed to express the unique stylistics and special approach to the print technique, the originality of St.-Petersburg theme, due to him it became possible to talk about the St.-Petersburg school of photography. Other authors, represented on the exhibition, are Liudmila Tabolina, Natalia Tsehomskaya, Vladimir Antoschenkov, Alexander Chernogrivov, Evgeny Mokhorev, Igor Lebedev, Alexey Zelensky, Maria Snigirevskaya, Alexander Nikiporets, Sergey Scherbakov.

The exhibition “Silver City. Saint-Petersburg photography XX-XXI” will be held in the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography from the 1st till 26th of February 2012.
For more information go to