PRIMROSE: Early Colour Photography in Russia

PRIMROSE: Early Colour Photography in Russia, The Photographers’ Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1, until 19th October 2014

 

P.T. Ivanov First year of the military service, Saint Petersburg, 1911 Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum

P.T. Ivanov
First year of the military service, Saint Petersburg, 1911
Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/
Moscow House of Photography Museum
© Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of
Photography Museum

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.

Dmitri Baltermants Stalin’s funeral, Moscow, 1953 Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography

Dmitri Baltermants
Stalin’s funeral, Moscow, 1953
Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/
Moscow House of Photography Museum
© Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of
Photography

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.

Varvara Stepanova Photomontage 'Beready!' 1932 Using photographs by A. Rodchenko Courtesy of a Private Collection

Varvara Stepanova
Photomontage ‘Beready!’ 1932
Using photographs by A. Rodchenko
Courtesy of a Private Collection

It provides a rewarding glimpse into the social and political life of Russia.

 Anonymous Sochi. Arboretum, 1957 Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum

Anonymous
Sochi. Arboretum, 1957
Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum
© Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum

 

http://www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk

Boris Mikhailov From the ‘Luriki’ series. 1971-1985 Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum ©Boris Mikhailov © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of Photography Museum

Boris Mikhailov
From the ‘Luriki’ series. 1971-1985
Collection of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/
Moscow House of Photography Museum
©Boris Mikhailov
© Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow/ Moscow House of
Photography Museum

 

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