Black and White Petersburg
[Julia Demidenko, Alexander Kitaev]
"Black and White Petersburg" opened on 19 March at the Leighton
House Museum in London. Engravings, prints and black&white photographs
show the changing images of the city of St. Petersburg over three hundred
years, including examples of the detailed topography of St. Petersburg,
the consecutive evolution of architectural styles and the principles
of city building, as well a change in the perception of the city - from
a dream of earthly "paradise" in the times of the Peter the
Great to nostalgia for old St. Petersburg at the end of the 20th century.
The exhibition of Black and White Petersburg is part of an international
program to celebrate the 300-th Year since the founding of St. Petersburg
on the 27-th (16-th) May 1703. It is dedicated to a celebrated city
as a tribute to a remarkable event, revealing St Petersburg in a form
and medium that most compliments it. From the fixed historical panoramas
to the poetic metamorphosis of the city, the viewer is transported back
through the black and white mediums that reflect the misty, monochrome
texture of the city's palette.
St. Petersburg has always been renowned for its graphic arts tradition.
At the beginning of the 18-th century, gravures of the time of Peter
the Great, first made as topographical maps, became the first art of
the new capital.
Throughout the 18-th and 19-th centuries, the elegant classical lines
of the city and its silhouette were imprinted by the finest skills of
the artists from the Academy of Fine Arts, the first native Russian
Art School. The advent of photography transformed the artistic presentation
of the city's landscapes and architecture, emphasizing the pace and
objectivity of real life. Today, contemporary black and white art forms
compete with one another in an attempt to reveal the myth and reality
of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The exhibition is organized jointly by the Luke and A Gallery of Modern
Art, London and the National Museum of the History of St. Petersburg,