Cyprus Mail

Capturing the real

By Maria Gregoriou

Tomorrow the Phytorio municipal gardens gallery will open its doors to all those who would like to travel to the 19th and early 20th century Proletarian districts through the photography of Egons Spuris.

Spuris, who lived between 1931 until 1990, was one of the most prominent Latvian photographers of his time.

He was born in Riga – the city to which he dedicated his most significant work with the series The Proletarian Districts of Riga (1970-1980) – which includes approximately 7,500 negatives and hundreds of printed photographs.

He followed what he described as a subjective documentary style. By focusing on the primacy of the photographer and the medium itself, Spuris detached himself from the implications of the traditional role of the Soviet photograph. This enabled him to reflect reality as evidence and/or propaganda.

As he was regarded as a pioneer, Spuris had a great influence on Baltic and Soviet fine art photography.

The photographer has received medals from the Photographic Society of America, as well as receiving the title of AFIAP (Artist) from the International Federation of Photographic Art.

In 1975 he was the first Soviet artist to receive a gold medal. His photographs have been exhibited in 18 solo shows and he also participated in a large number of group exhibitions in 48 countries.

The exhibition shows a selection of 54 high quality photographic reproductions copied from the original photographs made by the artist himself. Copying and processing of the photographs has been done by Greek photographer Elias Cosindas.

The exhibition is organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia and is being displayed within the framework of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The photographic collection will be exhibited until June 6.

Egons Spuris. RIGA: 19th and Early 20th Century Proletarian Districts
Solo photography exhibiton by Egons Spuris. Opens May 20 at 7pm until June 6. Gallery Phytorio, Municipal Gardens, Nicosia. Tuesday-Friday: 4pm-8pm. Saturday: 10am-1pm. Tel: 22-681088

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