ICONS OF 1960S-1980S

04.03.2010 — 19.05.2010

The exposition features a collection of more than three hundred photographs of actors, directors, writers, scientists, athletes andTV announcers known throughout the country and loved by viewers and readers in those years. Many of the characters in the photographs were idols for millions, even so-to-speak style icons. They were loved, admired, imitated. They were both heroes of their time and its face. That is why, while preparing this project, the curatorial team of the gallery focused on the reportage portrait – a genre that preserves the immediate emotionality of the time and reveals the originality and scale of the heroes’ personality. Two years of curators’ work in the archives of the most famous photographers of that era helped to find and select truly unique material. It is often invaluable from a historical point of view, and precious from a photographic point of view.

Among the works presented there are absolute rarities – for example, the never-published photograph of the composer Dmitry Shostakovich, taken by Vladimir Bogdanov.

The photographs taken by Igor Gnevashev on the set of films by Leonid Gaidai, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Konchalovsky or Nikita Mikhalkov today make it possible to feel the creative atmosphere on the set, see moments of improvisation, and appreciate the intense concentration of the director’s work. Among the pearls of the exhibition are the famous photographs of Andrei Tarkovsky and Anatoly Solonitsyn, taken by Igor Gnevashev on the set of Stalker.

Many of the photographers not only filmed the so-called elite, but also belonged to it. Like, for example, Vladimir Musaelyan, Brezhnev’s personal photographer for thirteen years, or Yuri Krivonosov, thanks to whom the audience will see a rare shooting of Arkady Raikin in the studio. High-class pros, they were also outstanding personalities who developed their own relationships with the celebrities.

At that time, they knew about the paparazzi in the USSR only from Fellini’s films and from Western magazines that occasionally entered the country. But not only because of the “Iron Curtain”, these masters did not deceive the trust of their counterparts. Not because they were forbidden by censorship. It’s just that their professional code was inseparable from the ethical one. Already in modern times, Vladimir Musaelyan once said: “I don’t trade in trust”. And today, the surviving shooting of the private life of the secretary general or the stars of cinema keeps a distance that implies respect for the person who trusted you. Oddly enough, it is this property that makes their work not only excitingly interesting, but also acutely relevant today.

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