Soviet Reality Proves to Be Popular, Gets Extension

The Lumiere Brothers Photogallery specializes in Soviet photos. This exhibit of works from the ’60s and ’70s opened in May and is still proving popular.

The Lumiere Brothers Photogallery in Moscow is extending the run of its current photo exhibition “Soviet Photography From the ’60s-’70s” by nearly a month and a half because of its popularity and success.

The exhibition offers a nostalgic glimpse into Soviet reality through a collection of more than 350 images taken by 70 photographers and Moscow photojournalists in the 1960s and ’70s.

“The main reason for extending the exhibition has been the large amount of visitors we have received over the last three months,” director Natalya Grigoryeva said. “I would like to think that the high standard of our photography attracts and surprises people.”

Most of the photos capture aspects of everyday life in Soviet times: a frozen young woman’s face wrapped in a fur coat in Ivan Lunkov’s “Winter” (1965); a child playing hockey in Vladimir Lagranzh’s “Goalkeeper” (1962); or a synchronized diving performance in Lev Borodulin’s “Water Festival” (1960).

“I have noticed that several people have visited the exhibition two or three times,” Grigoryeva said. “The exhibition embodies a lot of things, in particular the freedom of photography that did not exist from the 1930s to the 1950s.”

Many of the pictures were taken by professional photographers who were working for news agencies such as Tass and RIA-Novosti and took the chance to capture the lives of ordinary people.

One main theme is children, as the 1960s, organizers said, was a time when children were finally allowed to be children. Photos show a generation playing in the snow or skipping along in school uniforms as new buildings are put up behind them.

Even though the artwork portrays a long-past historical era, the exhibition has had huge appeal among Moscow’s younger generation.

“To my surprise, I noticed many young people aged 20 to 25 who couldn’t possibly have the same understanding of these icons as my parents’ generation,” Grigoryeva said. “But from discussing with them and reading their responses online, I have come to understand that they greatly enjoy the pictures.”

Adding to the exhibition’s popularity has been a recent venture with camera maker Olympus, which has enabled the gallery to display a selection of large prints all around the Moscow metro.

The gallery receives several e-mails a day from thankful people who praise it for putting up photos in their stations.

“Soviet Photography From the ‘60s-’70s” runs till Sept. 12 at the Lumiere Brothers Photogallery, 3 Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 1. Metro Polyanka. Tel. 228-9878, www.lumiere.ru.

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