Boris Mikhailov (photographer)
Boris Andreyevich Mikhailov (Бори́с Андрі́йович Миха́йлов, born August 25, 1938) is a fine art photographer who has been described as one of the most important artists to have emerged from the former USSR.
Life and work
Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhailov lived and worked for several decades in his hometown of Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR. He received an education as an engineer and started to teach himself photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well-known among the photographers who were already active in the Soviet era. His work combines conceptual art and social documentary photography.
Mikhailov had his first exhibition at the end of the 1960s. After the KGB found nude pictures of his wife he was laid off his job as an engineer and started to work full time as a photographer. From 1968 to 1975 he shot several series documenting everyday scenes, the best known of them being the Red Series. In these photographs he mainly used the colour red, to picture people, groups and city-life. Red symbolized the October Revolution, political party and the social system of Soviet society. It is often said[by whom?] that within those works critical elements toward the existing political circumstances can be found.
In Mikhailov's Klebrigkeit (1982), he added explanatory notes, or diary-like text.
In Case History, considered an important part of contemporary art, he examines the consequences of the breakdown of the Soviet Union for its people. He systematically took pictures of homeless people. It shows the situation of people who after the breakdown of the Soviet Union were not able to find their place in a secure social system. In a very direct way Mikhailov points out his critique against the "mask of beauty" of the emerging post-Soviet capitalistic way of life.
In 2004 Mikhailov first exhibited in Berlin in an exhibition concerning people living at the edge of society.
Selected solo exhibitions
- 2001: Saatchi Gallery, London.
- 2001: Case History & Heiner Müller Project, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
- 2002: The Insulted and the Injured, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York.
- 2003: Private Freuden, lastende Langweile, öffentlicher Zerfall - eine Retrospective, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland.
- 2004: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA.
- 2004: In the Street, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin.
- 2004: Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona.
- 2005: Look at me I look at Water, Centre de la Photographie, Geneve.
- 2005: Butterbrot, Galerie Ilka Bree, Bordeaux.
- 2006: Yesterday's Sandwich, Shugoarts, Tokyo.
- 2006: Moments/Monuments, Bereznitsky Gallery, Berlin.
Selected collective exhibitions
- 2009: Ça me touche, Rencontres d'Arles festival, Arles, France. Curated by Nan Goldin.
- 2012: Revolution vs Revolution, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
Books by Mikhailov
- If I were a German. Dresden: Verlag der Kunst Dresden, 1995. ISBN 3-364-00352-1
- Boris Michaijlov. Stuttgart: Oktagon, 1995. ISBN 9783896110015.
- By the Ground. Stuttgart: Oktagon, 1996. ISBN 3-927789-91-7.
- At DUSK. Stuttgart: Oktagon, 1996. ISBN 3-927789-91-7.
- Unfinished Dissertation. Zurich: Scalo, 1998. ISBN 978-3931141974. With an essay by Margarita Tupitsyn.
- Case History. Zurich: Scalo, 1999. ISBN 978-3908247098.
- Boris Michajlov: The Hasselblad Award 2000. Zurich: Scalo, 2001. ISBN 978-3908247425.
- Äußere Ruhe / Äussere Ruhe (Drucksache N.F. 4). Düsseldorf: Richter, 2000. ISBN 3-933807-21-2. Photographs and Russian text. Includes a German translation of the photograph notes, an interview with the artist (in German) by Marina Achenbach, and biographies (in German). Edition of 1000 copies.
- Boris Mikhailov. Phaidon 55 series. London: Phaidon, 2000.
- Salt Lake. 2002 ISBN 3-88243-815-0
- Boris Mikhailov: A Retrospective.
- Zurich: Scalo, 2003. ISBN 978-3908247722.
- Eine Retrospektive.
- Look at Me I Look at Water . . . or Perversion of Repose, Göttingen: Steidl, 2004. ISBN 978-3882439687.
- Crimean Snobbism. Tokyo: Rathole, 2006.
- Suzi Et Cetera. Cologne: Walther König, 2007. ISBN 978-3865601131.
- Yesterday's Sandwich. London: Phaidon, 2009. ISBN 978-0714848563.
- Maquette Braunschweig. 2010. ISBN 978-3-86521-834-6
- The Wedding. London: Mörel Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1907071195.[n 1]
- Tea Coffee Cappuccino. Cologne: Walther König, 2011. ISBN 978-3865608772.
- Time is out of Joint. Berlin: Distanz, 2012. ISBN 978-3942405645.
- 1997: Albert Renger-Patzsch Buchpreis.
- 1996: Award of Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation, Switzerland.
- 2000: Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, Sweden.
- 2001: Citigroup Photography Prize (later renamed Deutsche Börse Photography Prize), The Photographers' Gallery, London.
- 2001: Foto-Buchpreis der Krazna-Krausz-Stiftung, London (Kraszna-Krausz Book Award).
- 2013: premio novel a la paz mundial.
- Page about The Wedding, Mörel Books.
- "Boris Mikhailov photographs taken at twilight". Photography. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2007-08-25.