The exhibition, entitled St. Petersburg: Light on Shadow, is
dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the city of St. Petersburg.
Approximately 50 photographs evoke the mood and visual memory of a
native St. Petersburger, who was in fact born on very the day of the
Semenov's images capture light in various seasons. There is the light of
morning and of night. Light is reflected on rivers and canals and puddles
in courtyards. It is filtered through windows and fog and snow.
The general quietness is interrupted occasionally by a person or a tree
or by the angles and curves of well-known sculptural details that, taken
together, define the city. An unusual aspect of Semenov's photographic
compositions derives from the fact that for years he has been making charcoal
sketches of the very scenes he eventually represented in the medium of photography.
The artist has said, "I like to roam about the city when
all is asleep. When it's quiet and there is no hustle and bustle,
the city gradually reveals its basic shapes. Petersburg's soul is
spectral and barely perceptible, like photography itself."
One would not call the photographs on exhibition either
black-and-white or color. The artist himself calls them monochromatic.
Like any modern photographer, Semenov employs a variety of printing
techniques to give his images an impression of color.
For example, "Spire of Peter and Paul Cathedral" has been
computer-enhanced with a light golden color. The effect gives
the appearance of an older sepia-toned image. In the "Hermitage Bridge"
the use of warm tones in printing gives the impression of a summer
morning haze ...
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