Gronsky’s Pastoral series of large-format photographs of Moscow’s suburban areas are reminiscent of the arcadian images created by 19th-century landscape painters and the series reconstructs them in a way that jars with the romantic representations of a bygone era. Once defining borders becomes blurred in these photographs – the divisions between urban and pastoral, utopian and dystopian and the actors within these spaces are rendered ambiguous.
Gronsky’s arresting use of colour and intelligent compositions are alluring, but these layered works are a study of how people inhabit a territory and what becomes evident in these images is the effect human life has on the environment in this Apothocene age.
Previously exhibited at London’s Wapping Project Bankside were three works from Gronsky’s Reconstruction series that documents re-enactments of historic Russian battles whilst simultaneously rendering them anachronistic with the inclusion of onlookers into the frame. Constructed as triptychs, these works are filmic in nature and allude to a panoramic view of an important battle, whilst titles such as Siege of Leningrad are reminiscent of a Hollywood film. Continuing Gronsky’s study of perspective, in these works it appears formal whilst the colouring offers a certain flatness to the photographs.
Alexander Gronsky was born in 1980 in Tallinn, Estonia. He began work as a photographer in 1998 and joined the Photographer.ru agency in 2003, His photographic works have been published in numerous international newspapers and magazines such as Art+ Auction, Intelligent Life, National Geographic and Condé Nast Traveller. Gronsky has won numerous photographic prizes including the World Press Photo third place for Daily Life stories (2012), Foam Paul Huf Award (2010) and the Aperture Portfolio Prize (2009).