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Dmitry Baltermants, the master of Soviet photographic Avant-Garde

<b>Attack. November 1941.</b><br>Red Army Captain Baltermants, graduate of the Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty of the Moscow University and lecturer on mathematics at the Military Academy, got his first professional photo assignment in 1939 from the central Soviet newspaper «Izvestia».
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Dmitry Baltermants

Attack. November 1941.
Red Army Captain Baltermants, graduate of the Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty of the Moscow University and lecturer on mathematics at the Military Academy, got his first professional photo assignment in 1939 from the central Soviet newspaper «Izvestia».
<b>Sorrow. From the series "So it was ..." Kerch. January 1942.</b><br>He was dispatched to shoot the arrival of Soviet troops in Western Ukraine. The result was so impressive that he was promptly offered the post of staff photographer by the biggest and most influential Soviet daily.

Dmitry Baltermants

Sorrow. From the series "So it was ..." Kerch. January 1942.
He was dispatched to shoot the arrival of Soviet troops in Western Ukraine. The result was so impressive that he was promptly offered the post of staff photographer by the biggest and most influential Soviet daily.
<b>Firing are tanks. 1943.</b><br>Few people would have bartered the brilliant promise of an academic career with military rank for the vagabond life of a photo reporter, but Baltermants made his choice with no hesitation.

Dmitry Baltermants

Firing are tanks. 1943.
Few people would have bartered the brilliant promise of an academic career with military rank for the vagabond life of a photo reporter, but Baltermants made his choice with no hesitation.
<b>Tchaikovsky. Germany. 1945.</b><br>1939 was the year of great stylistic change in Soviet culture.

Dmitry Baltermants

Tchaikovsky. Germany. 1945.
1939 was the year of great stylistic change in Soviet culture.
<b>Giants of the industry (MMK). 1950s.</b><br>Socialist realism, enforced by the Communist power since the mid-1930s, has now virtually dislodged all other aesthetic trends in every sphere of art, including photography, where pictorialism, modernism and reportage so recently coexisted.

Dmitry Baltermants

Giants of the industry (MMK). 1950s.
Socialist realism, enforced by the Communist power since the mid-1930s, has now virtually dislodged all other aesthetic trends in every sphere of art, including photography, where pictorialism, modernism and reportage so recently coexisted.
<b>Mutual feeding - Kashmiri top hospitality custom (Nikita Khrushchev's visit to India). 1956.</b><br>With his first professional reports Dmitry Baltermants successfully met the demands of the new age. Right behind him, however, was the great period of the Soviet Avant-Garde, represented by Aleksandr Rodchenko, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Sergey Eisenstein and others.

Dmitry Baltermants

Mutual feeding - Kashmiri top hospitality custom (Nikita Khrushchev's visit to India). 1956.
With his first professional reports Dmitry Baltermants successfully met the demands of the new age. Right behind him, however, was the great period of the Soviet Avant-Garde, represented by Aleksandr Rodchenko, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Sergey Eisenstein and others.
<b>Moscow. 1960.</b><br>In 1943, after an editor’s mistake resulted in wrong titles for his photos, which were inadvertently sent to print, he had to go to a penal battalion, and survived by a miracle.

Dmitry Baltermants

Moscow. 1960.
In 1943, after an editor’s mistake resulted in wrong titles for his photos, which were inadvertently sent to print, he had to go to a penal battalion, and survived by a miracle.
<b>Untitled. 1960.</b><br>He was «rescued» by a grave wound, nearly losing his leg. After hospital treatment, in 1944 he returned to the front as a photographer, working this time not for «Izvestia», but for an army paper called «Na razgrom vraga», shooting military operations in Poland and Germany.

Dmitry Baltermants

Untitled. 1960.
He was «rescued» by a grave wound, nearly losing his leg. After hospital treatment, in 1944 he returned to the front as a photographer, working this time not for «Izvestia», but for an army paper called «Na razgrom vraga», shooting military operations in Poland and Germany.
<b>Halong Bay, the eighth wonder of the world. Vietnam. 1955.</b><br>Most of his wartime pictures only came to light during Khrushchev’s “thaw”, while the famous “Grief”, which brought him world renown, was first printed in the USSR in 1975, thirty years after it was taken.

Dmitry Baltermants

Halong Bay, the eighth wonder of the world. Vietnam. 1955.
Most of his wartime pictures only came to light during Khrushchev’s “thaw”, while the famous “Grief”, which brought him world renown, was first printed in the USSR in 1975, thirty years after it was taken.
<b>From the series "Kolja lives in Moscow". 1960.</b><br>Back from the front a bemedalled veteran, with thousands of negatives and hundreds of printed works, Dmitry Baltermants was long looking for a job in vain.

Dmitry Baltermants

From the series "Kolja lives in Moscow". 1960.
Back from the front a bemedalled veteran, with thousands of negatives and hundreds of printed works, Dmitry Baltermants was long looking for a job in vain.
<b>Science and Religion. Moscow. The beginning of the 1960's.</b><br>Finally the risk of hiring him as a photographer was taken by the poet Aleksey Surkov, chief editor of “Ogoniok”, the leading illustrated magazine selling millions of copies. It was there that Baltermants worked until his death in 1990, heading its photo section since 1965.

Dmitry Baltermants

Science and Religion. Moscow. The beginning of the 1960's.
Finally the risk of hiring him as a photographer was taken by the poet Aleksey Surkov, chief editor of “Ogoniok”, the leading illustrated magazine selling millions of copies. It was there that Baltermants worked until his death in 1990, heading its photo section since 1965.
<b>Uzbek farmer. 1960.</b><br>Despite the fact that by Soviet standards Baltermants’ career was a huge success – he went on shooting, publishing and exhibiting widel, and was allowed to work abroad - he was never quite a Soviet photographer.

Dmitry Baltermants

Uzbek farmer. 1960.
Despite the fact that by Soviet standards Baltermants’ career was a huge success – he went on shooting, publishing and exhibiting widel, and was allowed to work abroad - he was never quite a Soviet photographer.
<b>The main clock of the state. 1964.</b><br>Brilliant professional skills, impeccable sense of composition (while Rodchenko invented diagonal composition, Baltermants the mathematician was a virtuoso of the horizontal), as well as his innate aristocratism enabled him to remain an independent cosmopolitan artist, one that had normal relations with the Soviet regime and never tried to pay anyone back.

Dmitry Baltermants

The main clock of the state. 1964.
Brilliant professional skills, impeccable sense of composition (while Rodchenko invented diagonal composition, Baltermants the mathematician was a virtuoso of the horizontal), as well as his innate aristocratism enabled him to remain an independent cosmopolitan artist, one that had normal relations with the Soviet regime and never tried to pay anyone back.
<b>It was the war ... May 9. 1970.</b><br>Baltermants was equally good at photo reports from the front, staged or semi-staged stills praising the heroic labours and achievements of the Soviet people, or at landscapes and portraits.

Dmitry Baltermants

It was the war ... May 9. 1970.
Baltermants was equally good at photo reports from the front, staged or semi-staged stills praising the heroic labours and achievements of the Soviet people, or at landscapes and portraits.
<b>Tubes for the pipeline. From the series "Journey to the Siberian river the Ob'." 1971.</b><br>Portraits of politicians make up a special chapter in the oeuvre of Dmitry Baltermants. He portrayed General Secretaries of the CPSU, Stalin and Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev.

Dmitry Baltermants

Tubes for the pipeline. From the series "Journey to the Siberian river the Ob'." 1971.
Portraits of politicians make up a special chapter in the oeuvre of Dmitry Baltermants. He portrayed General Secretaries of the CPSU, Stalin and Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev.
<b>Wide natura. Leonid Brezhnev's trip to Uzbekistan. Of a series "Six Generals". 1979.</b><br>Baltermants was aware of the legacy of Russian photographic Avant-Garde, and of world photography at large. He made the acquaintance of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Douaneau, Marc Riboux, Joseph Kudelka and other great masters of the latter twentieth century.

Dmitry Baltermants

Wide natura. Leonid Brezhnev's trip to Uzbekistan. Of a series "Six Generals". 1979.
Baltermants was aware of the legacy of Russian photographic Avant-Garde, and of world photography at large. He made the acquaintance of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Douaneau, Marc Riboux, Joseph Kudelka and other great masters of the latter twentieth century.

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