Vladimir Stepanov
The Soul of Moscow Streets

18.07.2018 — 23.09.2018

The exhibition in the Lumiere gathers together more than 60 original photos by Stepanov dated 1956 – 1962.

Vladimir Stepanov has a special talent for seeing significant events in little routine moments of life. However, what he sees is not something sensational to make screaming headlines, it is something deeply personal and emotional which allows you to connect with a photographic image, something that Roland Barthes called “silent photography”.

Stepanov started his career in the 1950s when Soviet photojournalism was all based on strict rules of pre-censored staged photography. In Europe there already were Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Robert Frank working away, and Soviet shops started selling a magazine called «Czech Photo», bringing the tendencies in the world photography to Russia. After the coming of the Thaw generation our photography could not have remained the same.

Young, inspired and madly in love with photography and Moscow, the artist roams its streets and boulevards, looks into its yards and captures real life. He talks to us in the language of emotion and continuously looks for new form and expression, which makes his work so precious to us. Vladimir Stepanov’s works were displayed at a famous exhibition called «Our Youth» which took place in Gorky Park in 1962 and became a landmark event for local photojournalists. Stepanov’s photos were noticed by Valery Gende-Rote, the master of Soviet photography and the editor of the Soviet Photo magazine and were published on the front cover of the magazine, in Vechernyaya Moskva and other media.

His natural talent, fine taste and and a fresh look at the future of photography allowed Stepanov to capture the very moment in its singularity, the atmosphere, the details of everyday life and the feeling of that time. His works are unique relics of the city which no longer exists.

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