Granovsky Naum

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ABOUT

Naum Granovsky (1910-1984) was born in 1910 in Alexandria (Ukraine). He became interested in photography as a teenager, and after moving to Moscow in 1926, he began working as a laboratory assistant at TASS Press-cliche, where his sister’s husband, photographer Solomon Tules, arranged for him. In 1931, when the Soyuzfoto trust was established and the photo printing factory was attached to it, Granovsky was appointed head of the mass printing Department. Three years later, he was invited to work for the state publishing house of fine arts «Izogiz», which at that time attracted major masters of photography to cooperate. During these years, Naum Granovsky began to constantly shoot Moscow.
One of the most important tasks of the publishing house was to show a growing and prosperous country and its cities, so shooting architecture and new constructions was also a priority. In the 1920s and 1930s, architecture was photographed by many, including those who worked in the tradition of pictorial photography and those who sought a new visual language within the avant-garde movements. In Granovsky’s photographs, you can find traces of these different directions. Thus, the famous photo of the Crimean bridge in Moscow («Crimean bridge», 1938) recalls the techniques of constructivists. By the end of the 1940s, recognizable techniques were being fixed in his photographs: a high point of shooting, a deep perspective, a horizon line that allows you to give a panorama of the city and a strictly built composition. For Granovsky, there were no small details, he made a «precisely developed plan-scenario» of the image.
In 1941, Granovsky went to serve as a front-line correspondent for the newspaper «Alarm». He took a lot of pictures on the front line, and three albums of his photos, which preserved the history of the defense of Moscow, are stored today in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces.
In 1946, Naum Granovsky returned to work at the TASS photo Chronicle. The photographs he took from 1946 to 1984 became a classic representation of post-war Moscow.
High-rises, fountains, squares, embankments of the capital, illumination on Novy Arbat, SEV building and transformation of new districts of the capital. you can trace almost all stages of the city’s reconstruction from his photos.
Photo «Smolenskaya embankment in the evening» (1970) for a long time was the screen saver of the program «Time» on the First channel of Central television. The photo was taken from the top point. The photographer took a long time to choose the location, time, and weather. Finally, he stopped at Shevchenko embankment, knocked on one of the apartments of a residential building and asked to go out on the balcony. So there was this famous frame. Only thanks to the TASS pass, he got out of difficult situations many times.
The works of Naum Granovsky were highly appreciated during his lifetime. He was a participant in major exhibitions, author of books and albums, honored worker of culture of the RSFSR, Member of the Union of architects of the USSR. In 2017, the Lumiere Brothers Center for photography acquired the photo archive of Naum Granovsky and is currently the only copyright holder that exclusively presents the master’s works.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
The Soviet Century: Russian Photography from the Lafuente Archive (1917-1972), PhotoEspaña18, Madrid

2017
“Masters of Soviet photojournalism”, PhotoVisa, Krasnodar
“Revolution of people”, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow, Russia

2016
“Big style of Naum Granovsky”, Lumiere Brothers center for photography, Moscow, Russia
“Urban transport of the USSR”, VDNH, Moscow
“GAUDEAMUS: From the history of Russian students”, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow

2015
Soviet photo, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow, Russia

2013
“Moscow stories. Of the twentieth century. Part II (1960-1990)”, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow

2012
“Modern Russian photography, late 1940s-2012”, FotoFest Biennial, Houston, Texas, USA
“Collection of the Lumiere Brothers Photo Gallery. Anniversary exhibition”, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow

2011
“Moscow stories. XX century. Part I”, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow

2010
“Moscow Naum Granovsky”, anniversary exhibition for the 100th anniversary of N. Granovsky, Lumiere Brothers Center for photography, Moscow, Russia
“Soviet photo art of the 60s-70s”, Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow

2008
“Anthology of Russian photography of XX century. Photo 60-70”, Lumiere Brothers Gallery, Moscow

2004
«Moscow. 1930-1970’s”, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
“Photo relay: from Rodchenko to the present day”, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia