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Ukrainian photography featured in Space Gallery

Oct. 24, 2005

KALAMAZOO--"Ukrainian Photography: Tracing Culture Through Art," is on display in the Space Gallery in Knauss Hall at Western Michigan University 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.weekdays through Nov. 17. Admission is free.

The exhibit was curated by Bill Davis, WMU assistant professor of art, and explores the cultural and personal metaphors of new photography from the Ukraine. Guennadi Maslov, Yevgeni Pavlov, Alexander Suprun and Eduard Stranadko are four Ukrainian photographers working cooperatively and independently on both sides of the ocean to produce the photographic imagery. Each artist bases his work on the culture and experience that surrounds his daily life. A closer look at the imagery reveals layered meanings about visual anthropology, materials and methods.

In keeping with the popular historical trends of Russian photography, Pavlov, Suprun and Stranadko employ the "Defect as Aesthetic" style, which converts the liability of defect to the asset of creative motive. Pavlov's work translates personal and cultural metaphors. Family and Ukrainian life are clearly apparent in his collage work. In contrast, Stranadko's duo-toned imagery figuratively and literally softens the harsh edges of state buildings, thus suggesting the softening of severe state policies by layering the image with his aesthetic vision.

Guennadi Maslov began his career in photography at the end of the 1980's. A founding member of the Contact Group, he represented the Kharkiv Documentary School at the Soviet Union's final large Photo Festival in Moscow in 1989. In 1991, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, featured his work alongside the work of Pavlov and Suprun.

For additional information, contact the School of Art Exhibitions Office at (269) 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, (269) 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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