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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Haunting French Winterscapes Hailed at Loft

The landscapes were photographed over the course of one day in Alsace.
Winter is frozen into a precise beauty in Ivan Boiko’s exhibition, “The Time of Silver,” currently running at the FotoLoft Gallery at the Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art.

Looking at the photos, which picture a snowy land with a tree bare, branches thrust frozen into the sky, some people might mistake them for a Russian countryside, but the monochrome winter landscapes are, when you look closely, very different. They are all from the Alsace region in France and capture a few hours that transfixed Boiko.

“I have spent much time in these lands. They are marvelous, especially in the winter. Once I caught a moment, I began shooting and that’s it,” Boiko said at the opening late last month. “It was the influence of a moment.”

All emphasis at the gallery is on the photos, which were taken on Boiko’s Hasselblad camera.

“Practically nobody takes photos like that anymore,” art historian Marina Khrustalyova said. In an age where everyone is a photographer there is room for the older style of the art. “Slow, thoughtful, every frame measured out, born in the bowels of a Hasselblad.”

“The Time of Silver” is one of “calmness, covered with a thin layer of ice and acceptance,” French art historian Marie Moignard wrote, adding that Boiko captures the moment when winter shows its nakedness with photos that “cross time and reality.”

“The sky, the earth create a different world which is worth looking into: a horse waiting for its rider, a boat on the lake,” Moignard wrote. “And going through all this journey, a history which is invented by the viewer.”

Boiko shot to fame with his atmospheric black and white photos of Old Believers that he took over the course of eight years in Altai and Verkhokamye. The shots, which show a life led that seems little changed in centuries, can be seen along with the Alsace countryside and other projects on Boiko’s web site Ivanboiko.com and were also published in Paris under the title “Vieux Croyants de Russie,” or “The Old Believers of Russia.”

His work has been shown in various exhibitions including at the Moscow photo biennale and the prestigious Arles international photography festival, but this is his first solo show in Moscow. Boiko spends half his time in Paris and half his time in Moscow.

The exhibition runs at PhotoLoft Gallery. Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art, 1/8 4th Syromyatnichesky Pereulok, Bldg. 6. Metro Kurskaya. Fotoloft.ru. Open Mon. to Fri. from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sat. to Sun. from 12 a.m. to 9 p.m.