Nikolay Bakharev : Amateurs and Lovers // July 10 until August 19, 2013 // Julie Saul Gallery
Nikolay Bakharev (b.1946) appeared in the US in the 2011 Ostalgia exhibition at the New Museum which gathered art from Eastern European countries with a curious nostalgia for a difficult past. Massimiliano Gioni curated that show and has included Bakharev in the Encylopedic Palace compilation of over 100 international artists in the Central Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Bakharev was an orphan (his parents died when he was four) who worked as a mechanic until he developed his profession as a self-trained photographer. He grew up in East Russia near Mongolia where he still lives. The beautifully printed and modestly scaled black and white photographs of Amateurs and Lovers are serious and playful, mysterious and direct, connected to other photographers (Arbus, Judith Joy Ross, Nicholas Nixon) and very much their own vision. Bakharev is included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dashwood Books has recently published a monograph on Bakharev titled Amateurs and Lovers and reproduced the eponymous essay by Ektaterina Degot which appeared in the monograph People of Town N published in Russia in 2009.