Vladimir Stepanov's Exhibition "In the Shadow of High-Rises"

04.03.2023 — 04.06.2023

Lumiere Gallery opens the exhibition of Vladimir Stepanov “In the Shadow of High-Rises”. The exhibition will feature more than fifty author’s prints of the Moscow period (1957 – 1965). This is Stepanov’s second exhibition at the Gallery. Earlier, the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography successfully hosted his project Soul of Moscow Streets, which became one of the most visited at Red October in its time. Continuing the work with the author’s work, the curators of the Gallery will present to fans of black-and-white author’s prints of the Soviet period new found evidence of the time, made by the author in the post-war period.

“Young Photographer” will open a new Moscow for us: humane, sincere, sometimes funny and melancholy, coming to life after the tragic war years. Stepanov, who shoots for himself, does not think about the canons and frameworks in which his colleagues still live. Independent and free, it conveys the mood of the era in the best possible way, leading us with love to genre scenes and urban color.

“For more than 20 years of experience with photographic archives (and there were over a hundred of them), I would not name a more open and relaxed series than this one,” says the Gallery director Natalia Grigorieva-Litvinskaya.

The famous Robert Doisneau and Robert Frank were working in the West at that time, and the great master of the art of the moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson, came to the Soviet Union and created the legendary Muscovites series. In the hands of Moscow photographers, the Czech Photo magazine appears, from the pages of which domestic authors draw inspiration, discover Western photography and get acquainted with world trends. With the advent of the Thaw, Soviet photography is changing dramatically. But this will happen a little later.

Vladimir Stepanov gets the camera by a lucky chance. This early passion will stay with him for a long time and grow into a life’s work. His Moscow series of 1957-1965 will be included in the Anthology of Russian Photography of the 20th Century. And we will study the images of Moscow, changing at an unimaginable speed: from a small, low city with winding streets, it becomes the capital of the “country of the future”. Houses-communes, Stalin’s skyscrapers became the dominants of the city, while the usual pre-revolutionary views of Moscow remained in the shadows. However, it is precisely those narrow lanes, merchant estates and cozy courtyards that are still dear to all of us – Vladimir Stepanov tells us about such Moscow.

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