July 21, 2011
1 Boris Mikhailov
2 Boris Mikhailov
Born in 1938 in Kharkov in the Ukraine, art photographer Boris Mikhailov, has become known as being ‘one of the most important artists to have emerged from the former USSR’.
Heavily influenced by Concept-Art and social documentary art, for almost 30 years Boris Makhailov has been exploring the positions of the individual within the historical mechanisms of public ideology.
Makhailiv’s work provides profoundly engaging outlooks of some of the most controversial and bleak subjects of the Ukraine under Soviet rule, such as living conditions in post-communist Eastern Europe.
Until September 5, 2011, The Museum of Modern Art in New York is presenting Boris Mikhailov: Case Study exhibition, the first in-depth presentation of the photographer’s pivotal Case History series, which were created in 1997 – 1998, in a museum in the U.S.
These life-size photographs are set against an austere backdrop of Mikhailiv’s hometown, the industrial city of Kharkov and explores homelessness in the city after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These stunningly representative photographs demonstrate the devastating poverty, the intense oppression, and the sinister realities facing people living in a disenfranchised community on the margins of Russia’s new economic regime.
Talking about the inspiration behind his seminal Case History series, Boris Mikhailov said:
“Devastation had stopped. The city had acquired an almost modern European centre. Much had been restored. Life became more beautiful and active, outwardly (with a lot of foreign advertisements) – simply in a shiny wrapper. But I was shocked by the big number of homeless (before they had not been there). The rich and the homeless – the new classes of a new society – this was, as we had been taught, one of the features of capitalism.”
The Museum of Modern Art in New York is an artistic institution that inspires the creative aspirations of anyone who walks through its doors. Since it was founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art has been one of the leading museums of modern art in the world.
In presenting some of the most extraordinary exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance, the Museum of Modern Art encourages a deep understanding of contemporary art.
Boris Mikhailov’s Case History is at the heart of the foremost museum of modern art’s dedication to helping its visitors enjoy the art of our era