Alexander Gronsky, Less Than One, Vladivostok, 2006 © Alexander Gronsky.
Alexander Gronsky, The Edge, Strogino, Moscow, 2009 © Alexander Gronsky.
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Paul Huf Award 2010: Alexander Gronsky
August 27-October 10, 2010
Less than One is about regions in Russia’s vast hinterland where the average population density is less than one per square kilometre. The series looks at the evidence of human habitation in this oppressive, monotone Russian landscape. For The Edge, Gronsky looked closer to home. Here he examines the outskirts of Moscow. And while he explores the city’s periphery, Gronsky also tests the boundaries of photography. All the photos were taken during the long winter months and are dominated to a large extent by the whiteness of the snow, giving them an abstract, graphic appearance.
Alexander Gronsky (b. Tallin, 1980) is the winner of the 2010 Foam Paul Huf Award. This prize is organised by Foam and awarded each year to a young, promising international photographer under 35. Part of the prize is a show at Foam. Gronsky received the prize for his photographs of the post-Soviet landscape that he took between 2007 and 2010. The presentation features work from the series Less Than One and The Edge.
Gronsky considers himself primarily a landscape photographer, although he manages to breathe new life into the genre in surprising ways. The Paul Huf Award jury hailed Gronsky as ‘a new docugraphic photographer who imbues his work with a narrative expressing an intimate distance; long off yet not far away, opening up a whole new world using an apparently traditional technique.’ In his photos of the immense Russian landscape, Gronsky investigates the impact of the surroundings on the emotions and behaviour of the individual. He comments that looking at his photography should evoke emotions similar to that of “thoughtless staring with a vague sense of unease at an undefined point somewhere in space”.
Gronsky started photographing at the age of eighteen and has since won numerous prizes and honourable mentions. In 2003, he was chosen as finalist for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Master Class. In 2006, he was nominated for the Ian Parry Award and in 2008 for the Kadinsky Award. In 2009 he won the Linhof Young Photographer Award and the Aperture Portfolio Prize. That year also saw Gronsky’s portfolio appear in the annual Talent edition of Foam Magazine. His work has been published in numerous international magazines. Gronsky has been attached to Photographer.ru agency since 2005.