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November 5, 2007
Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) Central Committee General Secretary Josef Stalin with his wife Nadezhda Allilueva in a "Rolls-Royce". Pavel Udalov driving. Photo by Piotr Otsup, Moscow, Kremlin, 1923. Negative retouched. Silver print, toning; print retouching: ink, oil pastel. Print 1920s.
A remarkable exhibition of 150 vintage prints by Russian photographer Piotr Otsup are on display 7 November to 2 December 2007 at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
This exhibition is not a strict documentary testimony or historical narrative. It is an exhibition of the art photography of one of the most important photographers of Russia during the first half of the XXth century. According to the curators: "The exhibition is composed of photographs made in a particular historical time in a particular geographical-historical-cultural space" — the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia, which was one of the most disruptive turning points of the XXth century.
Piotr Otsup (1883-1963) was a photoreporter of the Russo-Japanese war while working for the Ogonyok newspaper in the 1900s. From 1918 till 1935 Otsup worked in the Kremlin as an official photographer of the leaders of the Soviet state — and therefore he served as a witness to much of Russian history in the making. He made portraits of Leo Tolstoy, Fiodor Shalyapin, Sergey Rakhmaninov and other world-known figures of Russian culture of that epoch. His first solo-show was in 1911 in St. Petersburg. His last solo show during his lifetime was in 1956 in Moscow.
Piotr Otsup: The Space of Revolution: Russia. 1917-1941
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
7 November - 2 December 2007
A full-scale catalogue is available, covering the history of Otsup's life and his art, and 150 full-page reproductions of the photos from the show.
First Cavalry Army Commandant Semion Budionny, Southern Front-Line Commandant Mikhail Frunze and First Cavalry Army Revolutionary Military Council Member Kliment Voroshilov reading the map (left to right). Photo by Piotr Otsup 1920. Negative retouched. Silver print, toning; print retouching: scratching, ink. Print 1930s.
First Cavalry Army Units Leaving for the Polish Front Line,1920. Photo by Piotr Otsup. Silver print, toning; print retouching: scratching, pencil, ink. Photo paper mounted on cardboard. Print 1920s.
Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Photo by Piotr Otsup 1925/1929. Silver print, chemical bleach, toning; print retouching: ink. Print late 1920s.