PRIMROSE: Early Colour Photography in Russia, The Photographers’ Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1, until 19th October 2014
This exhibition takes us on a journey from the Russia of the 1860s to that of the 1980s and it looks at the experiments with and development of colour photography in both the pre- and post-revolutionary periods. Like me you may wonder why the word primrose is used; it is easily explained as it literally means ‘first colour’ in Russian.
Divided into five sections chronologically it takes us from the 1860s when prints were hand-tinted with oil paints and watercolours, through progression and repression to a time when everyday reality was starting to become more apparent, although works could not always be shown publicly. Interestingly enough hand-tinted portraits also started to re-appear.
It provides a rewarding glimpse into the social and political life of Russia.