20 years under Putin: a timeline

Igor Palmin, photographer:

“I look at the photographs of these boys and compare them with what I see in the reports of today’s crackdowns on demonstrations. It feels like human nature has changed. In my material, no matter how hard you might like to try, you can’t find any aggression — not on either side.”


Day One. 19.08.


Photographer Igor Palmin was born in 1933 in Volgograd (Stalingrad) to a family of drama-theatre actors. In the early 1950s he developed an interest in photography. In 1968, he started working as a newspaper photographer at Molodoi kommunar (Young Communist), then as a camera operator on television. In 1959, Palmin entered the Department of Cinematography of the All-Russia State Institute of Cinematography. In 1962, he moved to Moscow, taking a job at the Laboratory of Sciences and Applied Photography and Cinematography of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1967 to 1971 he collaborated with the Department of Science of Central Television, holding the position of Senior Editor. He got acquainted with Ernst Neizvestny in 1966, and with Vladimir Nemukhin and Oscar Rabin in 1968. These acquaintances and his closeness to a circle of the unofficial and, later, official artists, changed Palmin’s fate dramatically. In 1971, Palmin quit his staff positions and became a professional photographer. He started freelancing for publishing houses such as Sovetsky Khudozhnik (Soviet Artist), Iskusstvo (Art), Stroyizdat, and magazines, such as Drugoye Iskusstvo (Other Art), Tvorchestvo (Creative Work), Sovetskaya Arkhitektura (Soviet Architecture), and also foreign publishing houses. In 1980, architecture became the main subject of his work.

Igor Palmin’s photographs can be found in the following sources:
• “10 kunstnere fra Moskva,” Kobenhavn, Denmark, 1971.
• “Apollon-77,” almanac. Edited by M. Shemyakin. “Arts graphiques de Paris,” 1977.
• “Drugoye Iskusstvo. Moscow 1956-1988,” GALART, State Center of Contemporary Art, 2005.
• “Art Nouveau Russe,” texte: Hélène A. Borisova, Gregory Sternine; photographs: Igor Palmine. Editions du Regard, 1987.
• “Moscow Modern,” Philip Wilson, London, 1977.
• “Russian Modern,” Sovetsky Khudozhnik, Moscow, 1990.
• “Drugoye Iskusstvo: Moscow 1956-1976.” Moscow, 2 vols., art gallery “Moscow Collection,” Saint-Petersburg “Interbook,” 1991.
• “Russian neoclassicism,” GALART, Moscow, 1998.
• “Melnikov’s House,” Academy Edition, London, 1996.
• “ Paradzhanov: The Price of Eternal Holiday,” Four Arts, Moscow, 1994.
• “Ivan Leonidov,” Academy Edition, London, 1988.
• “Nonkonformisten 1955-1988” and “Nonkonformisten 1955-1988 chronik,” Bar-Ger collection, catalogues of the exhibition in Russia and Germany in 1996 and 2000.
• “Time of Change,” catalogue of the Russian Museum exhibition. “Palas Editions,” 2006.
• “Moscow: Reconstruction in Photography 1850-2000.” Moscow House of Photography, 2000.
• “Arte Contro: Ricerche dell’arte russa dal 1950 ad oggi. Opere dal Fondo Sandretti del `900 russo. Fondo Sandretti, SKIRA, 2007.
• Igor Palmin: “Past Perfect.” “Art Volkhonka” Publishing House, 2011.