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Misha Anikst

November 2017  –  March 2018

This is the first exhibition of the photography of Misha Anikst, whose name is synonymous with the best graphic design to come out of Russia since the time of Lissitzky, Rodchenko and Telingater. Arriving in London in 1990, Anikst has designed some of the most beautiful illustrated books in the world - and continues to do so for clients who appreciate typographic excellence, attention to detail, and an unrivalled eye for harmony between design and content – in short, his mastery of the Contemporary Classic style.


During a long career as a graphic designer, Anikst has collaborated extensively with photographers and taken a great interest in the art-form. In this début exhibition, he is finally behind the camera himself, experimenting with a medium ideally suited for his creative approach. Just as his work in graphic design manages to be minimalist and rich at the same time, the photography in this exhibition achieves its effect through the same interplay of form, texture and colour within a meticulous composition.


The idea for the exhibition evolved naturally from Misha Anikst and Shahbaz Afridi’s shared aesthetic and long experience of working together on different projects. When Afridi opened his gallery last year to include carpets and twentieth-century design, he asked if Anikst would design a logo for the business. Anikst was able to capture the spirit of the gallery by shaping the letters in ‘Afridi’ to resemble a collection of design objects. He took the straight lines and circles of the letter-forms in the name, and transformed the logo into a powerful word-picture.


The idea of transformation is central to the subject of Anikst’s photographs, for which he found inspiration in the unlikely location of a car scrap yard in Upstate New York. Anikst has no particular interest in old cars, but his eye for the unusual and quirky was immediately caught by the artistic possibilities of the cars in their various states of dilapidation. Intrigued by the effect of time and decay on the bodywork of Chevrolets, Cadillacs, Buicks and other proud beasts of the American automobile industry, Anikst visited the scrap yard several times during the last two years to photograph the metamorphosis of radiator grilles, door handles, wing mirrors and other details into objects of startling texture and colour. Although their transfiguration is achieved by something as basic as the process of corrosion, it takes an intelligent eye to capture the right moment and render it eternal, as Misha Anikst has done in these photographs of great abstract beauty and mystery.


More about the artist.

For further information about the artist and available works please contact us on 020 7349 9909.

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