The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Photo Exhibition by Valery Plotnikov: V. Vysotsky and Others

plotnikovMarch 3 - April 22, 2018
Yasnaya Polyana Gallery

The exhibition will open on March 2 at 18:00. It will feature about 60 works by the well-known photographer.

Valery Plotnikov is referred to as a witness of the “Departing Epoch.” The film director Grigory Kozintsev defined the specific character of his art as “a photographer / director,” and the poet Andrei Voznesensky once wrote about him: Plotnikov is a photo. Graph” (“photograph” is a photographer in Russian, but “graph” means a Count). 


Valery Plotnikov made iconic photos of practically all the elite of Russia’s theaters and actors. The thoroughness with which he prepared the space for shooting, and the interiors, clothing, and poses he used that brought out his subject’s character became legendary.

His photographs show: the scholar Dmitry Likhachev; Joseph Brodsky; Mikhail Baryshnikov; Alla Demidova; Irina Kupchenko; Andrei Voznesensky; Vladimir Vysotsky; Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Innokenty Smoktunovsky; Evgeny Evstigneev; Alexander Abdulov; Nikolai Karachentsov; Boris Grebenshchikov; Andrei Makarevich; Nikita Mikhalkov, and other famous and popular actors, musicians, directors, and writers.


Plotnikov himself says that “there is an absolutely concrete story of why I became engaged in photography. At that time, we were quite educated. We knew Anna Akhmatova, and Mikhail Zoshchenko. I knew what Akhmatova looked like. Based on paintings by Altman, Modigliani, and Petrov-Vodkin. But if we had happened to meet Mikhail Zoshchenko, who was then still alive, or, say, Evgeny Shvarts, we just wouldn’t have recognized them. I decided to make my own generation recognizable. From an early age, I had a sixth sense: looking at a person, I understood whether he or she was worth anything or not.” Plotnikov’s main distinction from other photographers who photograph celebrities is that he is not just a photographer; he is an insider among those famous people.

The exhibition will be open until April 22, 2018; it can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday at 11:00 – 19:00. Cost of an admission ticket: free of charge for those having special-privilege status; 50 rubles for a full-price ticket. Cost of a ticket for a guided tour: 50 rubles for a discounted ticket; 100 rubles for a full-price ticket.


About the photogrpaher:

Valery Plotnikov was born on October 20, 1943, in the Altai Region, to which he had been evacuated from a war zone. From the autumn of 1945 has lived in St. Petersburg. Graduated from the Secondary Art School of the Arts Academy (studied together with Oleg Grigoriev, Mikhail Shemyakon, Natasha Abdulaeva), later studied at the A.L. Shtiglits Art School. In 1969 he graduated from the Institute of Cinematography, the camera operation faculty.

After he finished his studies at the Institute of Cinematography, Plotnikov turned to professional photography, specializing in portraits. His works include well-known series of photographs of Vladimir Vysotsky, Lilya Brik, Sergey Paradzhanov, Yuri Bogatyrev, Anastasia Vertinskaya, Boris Eifman, actors of the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater and the Maly Drama Theater – Theater of Europe, and many others. Plotnikov’s first personal exhibition took place at the House of Cinema in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1976.

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