Boris Mikhailov  (Ukrainian, 1938) 

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Boris Mikhailov (Ukrainian, b.1938) is a renowned photographer whose work deals extensively with human conditions in the former Soviet Union. Mikailov was originally an engineer, but he took up photography professionally after losing his job when the KGB found nude portraits of his wife that he had taken. Mikhailov began to release his work in social documentary series of photographs, which fall under the category of Concept Art. His first significant series was the Private Series, which documented private domestic scenes and began to develop his reputation for intimate and sometimes playful representations of the individual. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mikhailov's work began to focus on the realities of life under Soviet rule, beginning with the Red Series, which first gained Mikhailov notoriety as a photographer of Soviet realities. He continued with Unfinished Dissertation, a mixed media project combining his documentary-style photographs of life in the town of Kharkov with fragments of his uncle's university lecture notes.

Mikhailov's most notable work is often considered to be 1999's Case History, a revealing series of photographs dealing with the homeless and lack of social support in post-Soviet Russia. Case History was one of the first series to depict conditions of individuals in Eastern Europe after communism. The series was later published in a book collection and won several awards, including the Krazna-Krausz Photography Book Award. He has since published a number of other collections of his photographs, working alongside fellow photographers, such as Collier Schorr (American, b.1963). His style continues to deal primarily with images of people on the outside of society, especially those in post-Soviet countries. These themes are exemplified in Mikhailov's recent works, such as the 2011 series The Wedding, which depicts the staged wedding of two homeless Russians in often absurd but tragic photographs.

Mikhailov currently lives and works in Berlin, and exhibits his work at a variety of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Centre de la Photographie in Geneva, and Saatchi Gallery in London.

Find Boris Mikhailov artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Boris Mikhailov, Tea Coffee Cappuccino

 

Boris Mikhailov
Tea Coffee Cappuccino
2000-2010

Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, Black Archive 1968-1979

 

Boris Mikhailov
Black Archive 1968-1979
Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, Tea Coffee Cappuccino

 

Boris Mikhailov
Tea Coffee Cappuccino
2000-2010

Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, Black Archive 1968-1979

 

Boris Mikhailov
Black Archive 1968-1979
Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, Tea Coffee Cappuccino

 

Boris Mikhailov
Tea Coffee Cappuccino
2000-2010

Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, From under the bridge

 

Boris Mikhailov
From under the bridge
2010

Galerie Barbara Weiss
Boris Mikhailov, Football

 

Boris Mikhailov
Football
2000

Barbara Gross Galerie
Boris Mikhailov, Football

 

Boris Mikhailov
Football
2000

Barbara Gross Galerie
Boris Mikhailov, Football

 

Boris Mikhailov
Football
2000

Barbara Gross Galerie
Past auction results (106)  View All
Boris Mikhailov, Salt Lake

 

Boris Mikhailov
Salt Lake, 1986
gelatin silver print

 

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Boris Mikhailov, Salt Lake

 

Boris Mikhailov
Salt Lake, 1986
gelatin silver print

 

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Boris Mikhailov, Salt Lake (5 works)

 

Boris Mikhailov
Salt Lake (5 works)
gelatin silver prints

 

View Details

1938   Born in Kharkov (former USSR)
1994   Light Work grant, Artist-in-Residence program, Syracuse University, NY, USA
1996   Coutts Contemporary Art Foundation Award, Zürich, Switzerland
1996   Awarded Landeskulturzentrum grant, Salzau, Germany
1998 - 1999   Albert Renger-Patzsch Award, a support for European Photographic book projects by the Dietrich Oppenberg Foundation, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
1998 - 1999   Stipendium Landeshauptstadt München, Kulturreferat, Germany
1998 - 1999   DAAD grant (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), Berlin, Germany
2001   Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for the best books on photography, London, England
2001   Citybank Private Bank Photography Prize, London, England
2001   Visiting lecturer, Department of Visual and Enviromental Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2001   Le prix du Livre de Photographie des Recontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles 2000, Arles, France
2001   Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, Gothenburg, Sweden
2002 - 2003   Guest lecturer, The Academy of Visual Art, Leipzig, Germany
2003   General Satellite corporation art prize for a contribution to the development of the contemporary Russian art, Moscow
2012   Spectrum Preis der Stiftung Niedersachsen, Hannover, Germany
  Lives and works in Berlin and Kharkov
2012 - 2013   Shanghai Biennale
2012 - 2013   Everything was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s, Barbican London, UK
2012   Arsenale 2012 The Frist Kyiv International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine (solo)
2012   Time is out of joint. Fotografien 1966 – 2011, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (solo)
2010   Realismus – das Abenteuer der Wirklichkeit. Courbet – Hopper – Gursky, Kunsthalle Emden, Emden, Germany
2009 - 2010   1989. Ende der Geschichte oder Beginn der Zukunft?, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2009 - 2010   1989. Ende der Geschichte oder Beginn der Zukunft?, Villa Schöningen, Potsdam, Germany
2009   Boris Mikhailov. Dusk, DEWEER gallery, Otegem, Belgium (solo)
2008   The Wedding, Sprovieri Progetti, London, UK
2008   Glück - Welches Glück, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden, Dresden, Germany
2007   Biennale di Venezia, Ukrainian Pavilion
2007   Yesterday, Kunst Meran im Haus der Sparkasse, Meran, Italy (solo)
2007   Look at me I look at Water, Sprengelmuseum Hannover, Germany (solo)
2007   Hot + Bothered: Looking at the Landscape/Thinking about the World, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, USA
2007   What does the jellyfish want?, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
2007   Der Kontrakt des Fotografen, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
2007   Banzai!, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2007   Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany (solo)
2006   Yesterday’s Sandwich, Shugoarts, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
2006   Der Kontrakt des Fotografen, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany
2006   Twilight-Photography in the Magic Hour, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2006   Die Schönheit der Chance, Institut für moderne Kunst, Nuremberg, Germany
2006   In the Face of History, European Photographers in the 20th Century, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK
2006   Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier Städte, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
2006   Toucher l’indicible, Centre régional d’art contemporain, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
2006   Tokyo-Berlin/Berlin-Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan
2005   Circa Berlin, Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
2005   Motor Blues, Fotografien aus der Schenkung AutroWerke von BMW Financial Services, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Germany
2005   Information/Transformation, Extra City Center for Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium
2005   Zeit Raum Bild – 10 Jahre Dokumentarfotografie, Kulturforum, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2005   Look at me I look at Water, If I were a German, I am not I, Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris, France (solo)
2005   Butterbrot, Galerie Ilka Bree, Bordeaux, France (solo)
2005   Welt – Bilder, Helmhaus Zürich, Zurich, switzerland
2005   Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (solo)
2005   Look at me I look at Water, Centre de la Photographie, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
2005   Rundlederwelten, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany
2004   Privatisierungen. Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Osteuropa, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
2004   In the Street, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2004   Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, USA (solo)
2004   Boris Mikhailov, fotografies 60's-2003, Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, Spain (cat.) (solo)
2004   Testimony of the negative, Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zamek, Poland (solo)
2004   Verbal photography: Ilya Kabakov and Boris Mikhailov, Museum Serralves, Porto, Portugal (cat.)
2004   Verworpenen en Zondaskinderen, De Hallen Harlem
2004   Social Creatures. How Body becomes Art / Soziale Kreaturen. Wie Körper Kunst wird, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany
2004   Berlin-Moskau / Moskau-Berlin 1950-2000, Staatliche Tretjakow-Galerie, Moscow, Russia
2004   The Beauty of Darkness, Reflex Modern Art Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2004   Photo Exhibition, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany
2004   Fotografia Verbal: Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, Museuserralves, Museu de Arte Contamporanea, Porto, Portugal
2004   Channel Zero, Netherlands Media Arts Institute/Montevideo TBA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2004   Dorf in die Metropole - Rohkunstbau in Berlin, Studio 1, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
2004   Architektur der Obdachlosigkeit. Biss zu Gast in der Berlinischen Galerie, Berlinische Galerie
2004   Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
2004   TV-Mania, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Germany (solo)
2004   Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2003   Berlin-Moscow-Berlin, Museum Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
2003   Boris Mikhailov: Private Freuden, lastende Langeweile, öffentlicher Zerfall - ne Retrospektive, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (solo)
2003   Cambrige Album, Duke University, USA (solo)
2003   Cruel + Tender, The Real in the Twentieth-Century Photograph, Tate Modern, London, UK
2003   Traumfabrik Kommunismus, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
2003   Architektur der Obdachlosigkeit, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany
2002   The Insulted and the Injured, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2001   Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2001   Autowerke, BMW Collaction, Franz Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands
2001   From the 60s until now..., Museum of Modern Art, New York
2000   How you look at it. Fotografien des 20. Jahrhunderts, Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2000   Boris Mikhailov. 2000 Hasselblad Award Winner, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Sweden (solo)
2000   Boris Mikhailov, The Photographers Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2000   Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)
2000   Barbara Gross Gallery, Munich, Germany (solo)
2000   12th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (cat.)
1999   Global Conceptualism. Points of Origin, 1950-1980s, Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA (cat.), travelling to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
1999   Boris Mikhailov, Fondacione Querini Stampalia, Venice, Italy (solo)
1999   Boris Mikhailov, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris (solo)
1998   Boris Mikhailov, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (solo)
1998   Boris Mikhailov. Les Misérables (About the world), Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; (cat.)
1997   Photomania, DAAD Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1996   Boris Mikhailov A Retrospective, SCCA, Soros Center of Contemporary Art, Kiev, Ukraine
1996   Boris Mikhailov, Kunsthalle Zürich (solo)
1995   Boris Mikhailov, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (solo)
1995   After the Fall, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA (solo)
1995   Currents ’95 - Familiar Places, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, USA
1994   Perspectief Photografic Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
1993   New Photography 9, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
1992   Boris Mikhailov: Works form 1970-1991, Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria (solo)
1991   Carnegie International, The Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1990   Museum of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)
1990   The Missing Picture, Alternative Contemporary Photography from the Soviet Union, List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
2007    Christine Meffert, Boris Mikhailov, Die Zeit-Zeitmagazin Leben, Nr. 41, Oktober 4, 2007
2007    Boris Mikhailov: A simple question a simple answer, Gomma Magazine, Vol. 3, p.99, 117-119
2007    Boris Mikhailov: Yesterday’s Sandwich and Other Life Stories, Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha, Vol. 3, Nr. 892, 3/2007, p.131-140
2007    Boris Mikhailov – Suzi et cetera, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne
2006    Brian Dillon, All too human, Humanism-What on earth is it?, Art Review, Nr. 4, October, p. 102
2006    Joanna Pitman, When the night comes falling, The Times, October 11
2006    When Sky was Sea-1998-2005, exhibition catalogue, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Schlebrügge.Editor, Vienna
2006    Berlin-Tokyo / Tokyo-Berlin: Die Kunst zweier Städte, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit, exhibition catalogue
2005    Ruedi Schorno, Das Gesicht der Armut-Boris Mikhailov „Case History“, Kunst 21, Das Magazin für zeitgenössische Kunst, No. 9, October
2005    Boris Mikhailov, Il Teatro dell‘Arte, Villa Manin Centro D‘Arte Contemporanea, p. 178-179
2004    Larissa Harris: Boris Mikhailov. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Artforum International, December, p. 199-200
2004    Katrin Wittneven: Straßenkunst. Der Fotograf Boris Mikhailov zeigt Berlin als Niemandsland, Der Tages-spiegel, May 9, p. 29
2004    Boris Mikhailov. Look at Me I Look at Water. Or Perversion of Repose, Göttingen 2004
2003    Boris Mikhailov. A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Fotomuseum Winterthur/Scalo
2003    Berlin-Moskau / Moskau-Berlin 1950-2000, exhibition catalogue, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin,Nicolai Verlag
2002    Boris Mikhailov. Salt Lake, Pace/Mac Gill Gallery, Göttingen, published by Steidl
2002    Peter Herbstreuth: Pfeffer im Minztee. Unser Mann im Sperrgebiet: Boris Mikhailov bei Barbara Weiss, Der Tagesspiegel, March 16 , p. 25
2002    Brigitte Werneburg: TV Today, die Tageszeitung, No. 29, January 26/27, p. 36
2000    Boris Mikhailov. The Hasselblad Award 2000, ed. by Gunilla Knape, essay by Boris Groys, Gothenburg
2000    How you look at it. Photographs of the 20th Century, London
1999    Boris Mikhailov - Case History, Zurich, Berlin, New York