But according to London’s Calvert 22 Gallery, that has been the case – which it is set to change on 18 June, when the gallery’s Russian Photography Now exhibition opens for its two-month tenure.
The show will present recent works alongside an image from 1909, captured by Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky.
Prokudin-Gorsky was commissioned by Nicholas II, the last Tsar, to document his empire in the years before the Russian Revolution began in 1914.
The photographer ended up travelling with the family for five years – no mean feat considering that to take photographs in the early 20th century, complex and heavy kit including delicate glass plates, chemistry sets and a darkroom were required – all of which ended up travelling by horse-drawn carriage.
According to Calvert 22 Gallery, ‘The Tsar wanted these photographs to fix forever the “old” Russia the Russia of Tolstoy and Chekov at a time that the forces of change were gathering pace.’
The recent works by young photographers give a view of early 21st century Russia through their eyes, with a range of images on show from cities, mountains, coasts and suburbia.
Calvery 22 Gallery says, ‘Russia is vivid and vast and its contemporary photographers, like their father-figure Prokudin-Gorskii, continue to travel its expanses, as a route to understanding their world and the multifarious peoples who inhabit it.’
Russian Photography Now
runs from 18 June 17 August at Calvert 22 Gallery, 22 Calvert Avenue, London, E2 7JP