Boris Mikhailov, famous Ukrainian photographer is in the spotlight at the European House of Photography on the occasion of a retrospective.
50 years of photographic work
Considered today as one of the most influential contemporary artists in Eastern Europe, Boris Mikhailov has been developing experimental photographic work for more than 50 years around social and political subjects.
Boris Mikhailov’s pioneering practice lies at the frontiers of documentary photography, conceptual work, painting and performance. Since the 1960s, he has been reflecting on the upheavals that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequences, in Ukraine, of its dissolution. Conceived in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition brings together more than 800 works and presents around twenty of his most important series, including the most recent.
In an abundant work that proves impossible to classify, Boris Mikhailov shakes up the codes. He develops his own artistic language through many distinct and varied series in terms of technique, format and approach, to testify to the harsh social realities and absurdities of his time.
Reconciling humor and tragedy, he constantly defends creative freedom as a means of resistance. Through his uncompromising treatment of controversial subjects, Boris Mikhailov demonstrates the subversive power of art.
A self-taught photographer
Testifying to the grip of the Soviet system on his country for half a century, Boris Mikhailov constructs a complex and powerful photographic account of contemporary history which, in the light of current events, is all the more poignant and enlightening.
Born in 1938 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Boris Mikhaïlov is a self-taught photographer. An engineer by training, he was fired from his post at the end of the 1960s when the KGB discovered photos of his naked wife. He therefore devoted himself exclusively to photography.
Now considered one of the major artists on the global art scene, he has received numerous accolades, including the 2015 Goslar Kaiserring Award, the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (now the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Award) in 2001 and the Hasselblad Award in 2000. He represented Ukraine at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and again in 2017.
His work has been presented in major international museums
His work has been presented in major international museums including the Tate Modern, London, and the MoMA, New York, as well as more recently the Berlinische Galerie and C/O Berlin in Berlin, the Pinchuk Art Center in kyiv, the Sprengel Museum in Hannover and the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden Baden.
Boris Mikhaïlov is represented in Paris by the Suzanne Tarasieve gallery. He also exhibits his works at the Sprovieri Gallery in London, Guidocosta Projects in Turin, Barbara Gross in Munich and Galerie Barbara Weiss in Berlin.
5/7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris