SIGMAR POLKE: Photoworks, 1964-2000, at Leo Koenig Inc., through September 10

NY Times review here.

Ostalgia at the New Museum, through September 25

Sergey Zarva, Untitled, from the “Ogonyok” series, 2001


Alexander Lobanov, Untitled, ND. Gouache, colored pencil, and ballpoint pen on paper


Left wall: Plan for the Everyday Objects of a Lonely Man, Plan for the Dreams of a Lonely Man, and The Daily Regime of a Lonely Man, by Viktor Pivovarov; right wall: several untitled Anna Zemánková pieces; center: a variety of Hermann Glöckner maquettes


A still from Tibor Hajas‘ film, Self Fashion Show, 1976


A group of 84 photographs from Boris Mikhailov‘s series, Suzi Et Cetera

From New Museum’s website:
“Ostalgia” is an exhibition that brings together the work of more than fifty artists from twenty countries across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics. Contesting the format of a conventional geographical survey, the exhibition includes work produced by Western European artists who have depicted the reality and the myth of the East.

Some of the works—both from the East and West—describe the collapse of the Communist system and offer a series of personal reportages on aspects of life under Communism and in the new post-Soviet countries. A remarkable group of Russian artists constitutes the core of the exhibition, presenting works that retrace the origins of Moscow Conceptualism, and others that point to new directions in contemporary art. Zig-zagging across distant geographies and personal histories, “Ostalgia” composes an imaginary landscape, tracing the cartography of the dreams that haunted the East, for ultimately “Ostalgia” is an exhibition about myths and their demise.

Boris Mikhailov: Case History at MOMA through September 5

Interview with Boris Mikhailov here.

Boris Mikhailov seems to be EVERYWHERE this year, I saw a bunch of Mikhailov’s work at the Tate Modern over the summer in the show New Documentary Forms, more images here.

From MOMA’s website:
Ukrainian-born Boris Mikhailov is one of the leading photographers from the former Soviet Union. For over 30 years, he has explored the position of the individual within the historical mechanisms of public ideology, touching on such subjects as Ukraine under Soviet rule, the living conditions in post-communist Eastern Europe, and the fallen ideals of the Soviet Union. Although deeply rooted in a historical context, Mikhailov’s work also incorporates profoundly engaging and personal narratives of humor, lust, vulnerability, aging, and death.

Elliot Erwitt at ICP, through August 28th

From ICP’s site:
This major retrospective showcases the career of photographer and filmmaker Elliott Erwitt, the recipient of this year’s ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. Distinguished as both a documentary and commercial photographer, Erwitt has made some of the most memorable photographs of the twentieth century, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Che Guevara, as well as astonishing scenes of everyday life, filled with poetry, wit, and special sense of humor. Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian émigrés, Erwitt grew up in Italy and France and emigrated to America with his family in 1939. An active photographer since 1948, Erwitt sought out Edward Steichen, Robert Capa, and Roy Stryker in New York in the early 1950s, and they became his mentors. With Capa’s encouragement, Erwitt joined Magnum Photos in 1953. Erwitt is both an eyewitness to history and a dreamer with a camera, whose images have been widely published in the international press and in more than twenty books. On view are over 100 of his favorite images from the past sixty years, as well as some previously unseen and unpublished prints from his early work.

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