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Andrey Baskakov
Life in photographs

Ufa, 4.VI—1.X.2017

12 days left

National Museum of Bashkortostan Republic

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The Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow and the Russian Union of Art Photographers present an exhibition of photographs by Andrei Baskakov (1948–2014), one of the founders and longstanding chairman of the Russian Union of Art Photographers.

The Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow and the Russian Union of Art Photographers present an exhibition of photographs by Andrei Baskakov (1948–2014), one of the founders and longstanding chairman of the Russian Union of Art Photographers.

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Exhibition shedule

  • 3.XI.2015—4.XII.2015

    Moscow

    Multimedia Art Museum

  • 6.VII.2016—28.VII.2016

    Nizhniy Novgorod

    Russian Museum of Photography

  • 8.IX.2016—25.IX.2016

    Chelyabinsk

    State Historical Museum of Southern Ural

  • 4.VI—1.X.2017

    Ufa

    National Museum of Bashkortostan Republic

  • 20.VII—10.IX.2017

    Novosibirsk

    Novosibirsk State Art museum

For mass-media

Andrei Baskakov always occupied a special place in the Russian photographic community. A superb, astute and clever photographer, he also possessed outstanding organisational skills and became an important public figure. In the 25 years of its existence under his leadership the Russian Union of Art Photographers grew from a small organisation initially comprised of two hundred members to an institution that today unites more than two thousand photo artists from practically every region in the country. Andrei Baskakov took a genuine interest in the creative destiny of every photographer, arranged a vast number of exhibitions throughout Russia and abroad and organised competitions, festivals and master classes, yet he never presented a show of his own photographs, putting his personal creative work aside while concentrating exclusively on his activities as organiser and curator.

In the Soviet period many culture professionals including artists, writers, composers, filmmakers and journalists had their own organisations, most of them founded back in the 1930s. Photography alone failed to get recognition as an art form and photographers were classed as unskilled workers. Even the Russian Photography Society that had operated with great success in the country from the late 19th century was closed. This situation was changed largely thanks to the work of Andrei Baskakov.

For Andrei Baskakov and like-minded associates it was obvious that Russia needed an organisation that would support professional photographers, popularise and develop art photography in the country, and also preserve our photographic heritage.

In 1990 Baskakov acted as the initiator in creating the Union of Photographers, in December 1990 the Congress of Russian Photographers elected him as chairman, and the following March the Ministry of Justice registered a new public and creative institution, the Russian Union of Art Photographers, which adopted the traditions of the Russian Photographic Society. From that day Baskakov virtually took up residence in the Union offices, carrying out organisational and curatorial activities, publishing books, reading lectures and paying special attention to a quest for talented photographers in the Russian regions.

Today MAMM and the Russian Union of Art Photographers presents the first solo exhibition of photographs by Andrei Baskakov, including more than 100 works created from the 1970s to 1980s. Many will be shown to the public for the first time.

Baskakov began taking photographs in the 1960s, which marked a period of rethinking and renewal in Russian life. Already in the 70s and 80s it was obvious that a new and exceptional photographer had appeared. Baskakov’s ‘Pet Market’ has much in common with works by Aleksandras Macijauskas, while his ‘Central Asia’ cycle is in no way inferior to Vladimir Syomin’s brilliant photographs.

The exposition showcases Baskakov’s three most striking series, ‘Pet Market’, ‘Haymaking’ and ‘Central Asia’, as well as reportage and portrait photographs, including portraits of celebrated photographers.

A particular place in the exhibition is taken by landscape shots, where the photographer focuses on the complex rhythmical structure of his subject. It is precisely this complicated rhythm that becomes the basic building material in many of his images with apparently abstract themes, underlining the sharp observation of the photographer and his ability to capture brief moments in the flow of ordinary life that create an original authorial view of the world. This, above all, applies to the urban compositions (‘Man and Machine’, the ‘Encroachment’ triptych).

Andrei Baskakov always mounted his work personally. At the MAMM exhibition the photographs are presented in the author’s own mount, giving us the closest possible appreciation of his worldview.

Last but not least, this exhibition provides the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the work of Andrei Ivanovich Baskakov, a talented photographer who in the direct sense of the word devoted himself to photography.

The museum is grateful to the Union of Art Photographers, with personal thanks to Union Chairman Yuri Baturin and Elena Bagdasarova, for their help in organising the exhibition.

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