PEOPLE: Photography Exhibition
The Harriman Institute at Columbia University
420 West 118th Street (at Amsterdam Ave), 12th Floor
On view: January 20 - March 27, 2009
Leonid Lubianitsky is one of the leading contemporary photographers and the most recognized artists in the Russian cultural community in the USA and abroad.
A third generation photographer, he was born in Leningrad in 1938, and started to take pictures learning from his father at the age of six. At the age of seventeen, after his father’s untimely death, he started to work at a commercial studio to support his family. Later, he was drafted to the Soviet Air Force as an aerial photographer. In 1960 he started his career as a filmmaker at the Leningrad Television Studio, producing documentaries on arts and programs for children, while continuing photography as fine art as well as taking assignments for various magazines and publishing houses.
Leonid Lubianitsky immigrated to the USA in 1972. His first job was as an assistant to Richard Avedon whom he considers his mentor. The second significant encounter was with the editorial director at Conde Nast Publications, Alexander Liberman, who gave him the opportunity to launch his own career shooting celebrities for the Vogue magazine section "People Are Talking About".
At the same time, his works were published at a number of magazines in the USA and abroad, such as New York Times Magazine, Time, Fortune, People, Horizon, Look, and others. He was receiving assignments for recording companies such as Arista, CBS, and Polydor, and advertising agencies. His photography for advertising campaign for US News and World Report brought him ANDY Award of the NY Advertising Club.
In his own words, a follower of Richard Avedon and Alexei Brodovich who defined American photography of the 20’s century, Leonid Lubianitsky continues traditional approach using film and photographic paper. This exhibition presents portraits of Russian and American cultural icons such as Duke Ellington, Jack Lemon, Allen Ginsberg and Andrei Vosnesensky, Claeus Oldenberg, Peter Sellars, Marina Vlady, Aaron Copland and others, which is a small fraction of his works, created in the USA in the years of 1970’s and 1980’s.
“In gracing the pages of practically every major publication in the country,” wrote the Nobel Laureate poet, Joseph Brodsky, “ the portrait photography of Leonid Lubianitsky reveals an amazing sensitivity and zest, while being a uniquely exhaustive record of the cultural icons of our times.”
February 20, 2009 - Voice of America
Celebrities of the Era in Black and White
by Mikhail Gutkin
January 26, 2009 - Columbia Spectator
Lubianitsky Captures Human Essence in Photographs
by Alyssa Rapp
January 22-28, 2009 - Russkiy Bazar
Photoportraits of Leonid Lubianitsky
by Nina Alovert
City Guide NY listing