Sergei Gitman, b. 1944, Moscow.
1967 Graduated Moscow Foreign Languages University, majoring in English and German;
1968 worked as translator for a construction project in India;
1969 Assistant director for Soviet-Italian-American film production, "Red Tent;"
1969-70 Editor with a cartographic publishing company in Moscow;
1970-72 Drafted to the armed forces as commissioned officer; translator and intelligence analyst, Pacific Theater of Operations;
1973-1976 Editor and translator, Novosti Press Agency in Moscow;
1974-76 Finished Graduate School for Advanced Translators at Moscow Foreign Languages University;
1977-78 Editor and producer at an advertising agency in Moscow;
1979 Joined Moscow Professional Association of Dramatists;
1979 Joined Moscow group of Amnesty International; elected secretary of Moscow AI Group in 1990;
1990 Joined Russian Union of Art Photographers, director of RUAP international operations, art-director since 1998;
1992-96 Worked as member of coordinating committee (Soros Support for the Arts and Humanities in Russia Program) and coordinator for the Internet Program of the International Science Foundation;
1996 Photo editor of "Money" magazine;
Editor-in-chief of "Russia," an illustrated English-language monthly magazine.
1998-1999 Manager, Special Committee for the Distribution of Aid to Needy Victims of the Holocaust in Russia, Russian Jewish Congress;
Vice-president for PR and Development, Jewish University in Moscow
Comments and Review
Sergei Gitman created the first truly independent association of Soviet photographers (Fotomost or Photo-bridge,1988) and organized some ten exhibitions of these artists in Russia and abroad, including a three-month-long international festival in Moscow; organized the first independent in 1989;
Organized, with the Union of Art Photographers of Russia, the First International Moscow Photo Festival in 1993; has served as RUAP’s secretary and art-director; became director of the Russian Fund for Professional Photography in 2000.
Sergei Gitman has prepared from 1998 till the present twelve exhibits of his own work dealing with life in the Russian prisons.
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, USA
National Museum of Photo, Film and Television, Bradford, UK
New Mexico Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, USA
Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, Russia
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, USA.
More about the Artist – Professional Activities
USA. 1994: Lecture at Arizona State University, School of the Arts (Tempe) on "History of Russian Photographic Associations"; editing video films for a multi-media exhibit scheduled for February 1995, with American collaborator;
USA. 1993: Lecture on Contemporary Russian Photography at the Society for Photographic Education annual conference; Seattle, Washington; moderator at Foto/Фото Symposium, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; lectures on contemporary Russian photography and special projects "The Russian Political Faces" and "Celebrations in Russia. A Historical Survey": Arisona State University (Tempe), Center for Creative Photography (Tuscon), University of New Mexico (Alburqurque), Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts.
USA. 1992: presentation of contemporary Russian photographic collections to the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston; and the Photo Resources center, Boston;
Lectures on contemporary Russian Photography at: Tisch School of Art, New York City University; Art Institute, Boston; Tufts School of Diplomacy, Boston; Museum School, Boston;
Attended annual conference of the American Society of Photographic Education, Alexandria, Virginia.
USA. 1991: attended the opening of the "Changing Reality: Contemporary Soviet Photography", the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and spoke at the conference on the same subject at the museum; presented Russian photography portfolios at ICP, NYC.
USA. 1990: attended FotoFest in Houston as a portfolio reviewer at the Meeting Place; presented work by Russian artists to Francis Fralin, then curator of photography at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which later mounted the exhibition "Changing Reality".
France. 1990: curated the "Soviet Portfolio" at the Rapho Agency in Paris.
Sweden. 1990: took part in workshops on Soviet Photography at the Svedish Photographers' Union and the Photography Department of the University of Gothenberg.
Since 1969 Sergei Gitman has worked as a free-lance translator (mostly from Russian to English). Among his translations: four books on linguistics (Nauka Publishers; over 100 scripts of television productions, including those based on classical Russian literature (Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky)(Gosteleradio); over 100 essays in musical history and criticism (Melodia Publishers); essays on art and drama history and criticism for various publishers.
Review of a one-man show, "Reflexes," at the US Cultural Center in Moscow, during the Second Moscow Photographic Biennale:
Apart from the sheer beauty of some of the works, Sergei Gitman’s arresting color photographic exhibition at the American Center provides both the Russian and the American viewer with a rich, multi-layered visiual meditation on the current American art scene. Collectively, the exhibit raises questions about art--art as a spiritual gift and art as commodity. Can the two co-exist? What does commerce do to art?
Photography is the art of inclusion; it shows us more than the naked eye; it puts objects into context. Mr. Gitman knows this and uses this aspect of photography to present a cogent and eloquent visual discourse on art, via art photogrpahy.
Gitman’s works not only entrance the eye but engage the mind. As an artist, he requests us to reflect on his "Reflexes". This reviewer finds the request worthy of response, as did curators of three America’s leading museum, including MOMA, and their opposite numbers in Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale and Moscow’s Pushkin Museum, who added to their collections some of Mr. Gitman’s works produced in the past twenty years.
Professor of Photography
Arizona State University, Tempe