100 Photographs by Anatoly Boldin

31 January 2020

7 FEBRUARY — 29 MARCH 2020

Anatoly Boldin is one of the veterans of photography based in Moscow. His professional and creative growth coincided with the period of positive transformations in the culture and science of the USSR in 1950s and 1960s. The exhibition, consisting of one hundred black-and-white and color prints made between 1957 and 2010, is the first comprehensive presentation of Boldin’s work to St. Petersburg audience. ROSPHOTO thanks Anatoly Boldin for donating ten original prints to the museum collection.

The exhibition includes original prints exploring various genres and subjects: from pho-tographic etudes, popular in the sixties, to formal experiments with cameraless photog-raphy, or photogram, from the scenes of student life and sporting events to genre scenes captured by the author in Moscow, Leningrad, Lvov, Saratov, Gorky, Bukhara, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Sevastopol and other cities and republics of the USSR.  

Boldin engaged with photography in 1957 after enrolling at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, where he became a photojournalist at the Institute’s newspaper Baumanets and took part in the organization of the student photography club. In the early 1960s, when the new generation of photographers turned to reportage photography, Anatoly Boldin studied photo reporting at the Central House of Journalists of the USSR. The experience he gained eventually shaped his documentary style and his ambition to capture “life as it is.” At the same time, Anatoly Boldin publishes his photographs in both Moscow and state newspapers and magazines, gaining recognition for his composition skills, intensity of emotion, and minimalism.

In 1962, after graduation, Anatoly Boldin worked as an engineer at a research institute, while devoting much of his free time to photography. In 1964, he joined the leading Mos-cow photography club Novator, founded by Alexander Khlebnikov and Georgy Soshalsky. As a member of Novator, he participated in numerous club exhibitions in Moscow, Astrakhan, Vilnius, Novosibirsk, and Perm. His works were a success at All-Russian and All-Union exhibitions in Moscow, interclub exhibitions across the USSR, and international exhibitions in England, Bulgaria, Brazil, GDR, Denmark, India, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.  

In 1970, Boldin was elected as Chairman of the Novator photography club. Though busy with organizational activities, Anatoly Boldin continued to engage in creative research, exploring the matter of the life of things and the genre of psychological portrait, both largely relevant for the 1970s and 1980s.

Since 2002, Anatoly Boldin has been collecting materials on the history of the Novator club, one of the oldest photography clubs in Russia, preparing and publishing a series of books called “Collection of the Novator Photo Club.” The first books in the series were “A. Khlebnikov” and “G. Soshalsky” — a tribute to his much-appreciated mentors.

100 Photographs offers an image of Russian history from the postwar period up to the present day, while giving a glimpse of the history of amateur photographic movement in the USSR, as seen and experienced by photographer Anatoly Boldin.  

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