High-rise façades calmly reflected on the waters of a lake, a family is having a picnic on its green banks. Sunbathers occupying the untenanted sand hill of a housing development. A woman in a summer dress lost in thought, standing in the midst of wild bushes, but here too the skyline of suburbia extends itself into the image. The incessant expansion of the cities, nature’s last surge before giving way to asphalt and concrete, and how humans use these zones of transformation to create small islands of happiness are central themes to the work of Alexander Gronsky. His series Pastoral shows Moskow’s periphery, documenting its changes without judging. People, nature and the city are composed into powerful allegorical landscapes images.
Within cities, Gronsky is fascinated by the before and after. His series Repetition has strong cinematic references. Observing pedestrians at a crossing with only seconds between them or documenting the same corner of a house – and its decay – for several months. This “in between” opens up a space where presence and development exist simultaneously, today already bearing the inscriptions of tomorrow. In an urban era, Gronsky’s images become laconic philosophical comments.
Alexander Gronsky, born 1980 in Tallinn, Estonia, lives in Moscow. In 2009, he received the Aperture Portfolio Award for his series Pastoral, in 2010 he was presented the Foam Paul Huf Award for The Edge, a series about snowbound Moscow. In 2012 Gronsky won the World Press Award in the category Daily Life Stories (3rd). He is a regular contributor to magazines like The Sunday Times, Esquire, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, Der Spiegel or Ojode Pez and has published five photography books so far. Exhibitions in Amsterdam, London, Moscow, New York, Riga and Tokyo.
Nadine Barth / 2020