Max Penson: Photography between Revolution and Tradition
Penson created a unique visual chronicle, an epic poem in photographic form of the radical transformation of life and colossal engineering projects in the region. His images show men digging vast irrigation canals, attending literacy classes, women rid off their traditional horsehair veils to wear contemporary clothes and pursuing new professions, as telephone operators or tractor drivers. In 1937 Penson was part of the World Fair in Paris, winning an award for his 'Uzbek Madonna,' a portrait of a young woman unveiled and publicly nursing her child. Penson’s photographs reflect both an awareness of the Modernist aesthetic used by European artists and an idealization of a new Soviet life."