LEONID Shokin's Portrait of a Young Girl.
A hundred and twenty black and white photographs taken by 16 photographers from the 1890s to the present day make up this exhibit entitled Russian Pictorialism. These photos are currently on display in Bratislava at the Slovak National Gallery as part of the Month of Photography running throughout November in many galleries across the country.
This exhibit also serves as the European premiere of the collection.
"It took six years of work to prepare this exhibition," says Russian curator Jevgenij Berezner.
"Russian pictorialism was the most important artistic branch of Russian photography at the end of the 19th century. It didn't copy world pictorialism, which was influenced by art nouveau, because in Russia the movement was inspired by spiritualism and religious mysticism," he says.
THE VILLAGE of Virma - Melting Snow by Grigorij Kolosov, 1990.
"One of the aims of the exhibition is to bring their names back into the history of world photography," says Berezner.
During the ensuing communist era, pictorialism was obliterated as part of Russia's cultural heritage and most of the negatives and photographs in archives were destroyed. Many of the prints in the Bratislava exhibition come from private collections and are often the only surviving copies.
"Some of these photographs are on display for the first time since the 1920s, and some are being shown for the first time ever, because when they were taken, pictorialism was already forbidden as a movement in Russia," explains co-curator Irina Tchmyreva.
Another exhibition featured in this year's Month of Photography is a retrospective of the world-renowned French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson at Pálffy's palace.
His black and white snapshots of people in the streets of Paris, his photojournalism for the Magnum agency and his portraits of the world's leading artists made him famous. Bresson is known for his ability to capture what has come to be called the "decisive moment" and his style has been imitated by many.
FROM Jozef Ondzik's Report on Slovakia.
Despite the focus on Bratislava, several exhibitions are taking place outside the capital. Rudo Prekop's Still Lifes will be on display at the Spiš Gallery in Spišská Nová Ves. Jaroslav Bengl will present pictures from his Thirteen Short Stops Across Europe, America, Asia and Africa in the Orava Gallery in Dolný Kubín. The At Home Gallery in Šamorín will show Czech photographer Josef Moucha's double exposure pictures of the "American Dream".
This year's Month of Photography not only presents international photography to Slovakia, it also promotes the work of Slovak artists abroad. Miro Švolík and Pavel Pecha will have their works on display in Vienna and the works of Andrej Bán will be presented in Berlin.
What: Russian Pictorialism - photo exhibition.
Where: Slovenská národná galéria,Esterházyho palác, (Slovak National Gallery, Esterházy's Palace), Rázusovo nám. 2.
When: Open Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00 until November 24.
The programme catalogue for the Month of Photography can be purchased at most galleries participating in the event. For further information visit www.fotofo.sk