Naum Granovsky

(1910-1984)

Naum Granovsky was born in 1910 in Alexandria. He became interested in photography as a teenager, and after moving to Moscow in 1926, he began working as a laboratory assistant at TASS Press Cliche, where his sister's husband, photographer Solomon Tules, arranged. He was responsible for developing records, printing and drying images, making reproductions, keeping the laboratory clean, and sometimes going on operational photography. In 1931, when the Soyuzfoto Trust was established and with its photo printing factory, Granovsky was appointed head of the mass press department. Three years later, he was invited to work at the ''Izogiz'' State Publishing House of Fine Arts, which at that time attracted the cooperation of great masters of photography. These years Naum Granovsky begins to constantly shoot the changing Moscow. One of the important tasks of the publishing house was to show the growing and prosperous country and its cities, so the shooting of architecture and new construction was also a priority. In the 1920s – 1930s, many took pictures of the architecture; there were those who worked in the traditions of pictorial photography and those who were looking for a new pictorial language as part of avant-garde movements.
In photos of Granovsky you can find traces of these different directions. Thus, the famous photograph of the Crimean Bridge in Moscow (1938) recalls the techniques of the constructivists. By the end of the 1940s, recognizable techniques are fixed in his photographs: a high point of shooting, a deep perspective, the horizon line, which allows to give a panorama of the city and a strictly built composition. For Granovsky, there were no trifles, he made up the "precisely developed plan-scenario" of the image. Working in TASS, it was important for him to comply with the quality and requirements that the agency set. In 1941, Granovsky sent to serve as a front-line correspondent for the newspaper "Alarm". He shot a lot on the front line, and three albums of his photographs, which preserved the history of the defense of Moscow, are stored today in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces. In 1946, Naum Granovsky returned to work in the TASS Photo Chronicle.
His photographs, which he took from 1946 to 1984, became classics of the submission of post-war Moscow. High-rises, fountains, squares, embankments of the capital, illumination on Novy Arbat, the CMEA and the transformation of the new districts of the capital, according to his photographs can be traced almost all the stages of the city's reconstruction. First of all, his name is associated with these images today. The works of Naum Granovsky were highly appreciated during his lifetime. He was a member of the largest exhibitions, author of books and albums, Honored Worker of Culture of the RSFSR, a member of the Union of Architects of the USSR. In 2017, the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography acquired the photo archive of Naum Granovsky and today is the only copyright holder, exclusively representing the master's work. This is a great honor and responsibility.

Selected solo exhibitions
2010
Anniversary exhibition. The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia
2004
Moscow 1930 – 1970. The Fifth International Photography Month in Moscow: Photobiennale 2004, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia

Selected group exhibitions
2015
Soviet Photo, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia
2014
The Visual Revolution: Russian Avant-Garde Photography, Alexander Rodchenko & Vkhutemas Workshop, Richard Salton, London, UK
2012
FotoFest 2012 Biennal: Contemporary Russian Photography, late 1940s – 2012, Houston, Texas, USA
2011
Rodchenko and His Circle: Constructing the Future Through Photography, Art Sensus, London, UK
2004
Photorelay race. From Rodchenko and up to now, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia