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This autumn the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

presents a comprehensive exhibition on the oeuvre

of famed photographer Horst P. Horst, (1906 – 1999)

(image from vam.ac.uk):

horst in studio from vam.ac.ukstudio

Horst P. Horst in studio with celebrated model Lisa Fonssagrives

German born, Horst studied in Hamburg and

after becoming increasingly absorbed by the

avant garde art movement, he moved to Paris.

There he undertook architectural study

under the tutelage of Le Corbusier.

Horst’s interest centred on a development of modernist expression.

Yet, his artistic interpretation was not to be fulfilled through

architecture, as was his initial ambition.  Horst became acquainted with renown

Vogue photographer, Baron George Hoyningen-Huene.

He became Hoyningen-Huene’s assistant and succumbed to the appeal

of photography, the art form through which he would eventually gain

international recognition.

Horst’s first photo credit appeared in French Vogue, 1931.

By 1932, with his photographs featured in British Vogue, Horst P. Horst was

on a career ascent.  The association with Vogue lasted his entire working life,

which spanned an impressive sixty years (1931 – 1991).

During the 1930s and 1940s he photographed

fashion luminaries such as Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and

fashion model extraordinaire Lisa Fonssagrives.

Many of Hollywood glitterati, Betti Davis, Marlene Dietrich

and Ginger Rogers to name a few, were also subject of his work.

(image from indulgy):

horst, lisa fonssagrives, 1939 indulgyb3715202eb15a80e92dd910c0e698e10

the model, Lisa Fonssagrives

(images from jacksonfineart):

horst marlene dietrich, 1942 jacksonfineart379

the actress, Marlene Dietrich

 horst ginger rogers, 1936 jacksonfineart369

the actress, Ginger Rogers

His images were composed from an eclectic array and combination of influences:

“His aesthetic range throughout the 1930s and (1940s) was vast, encompassing elements of Greek classicism, Baroque romanticism, Hollywood studio photography, trompe l’oeil, and film noir; he also ventured into the avant-garde, revealing such influences as the Bauhaus and Surrealism.”  (from vogue.com)

The photos created had a chiaroscuro quality of boldly contrasting light and

dark in an intricate play of shadow.  The effect produced was of profound

tonal aspect.

(image from tumblr.com):

horst light_dark swimsuittumblr_n9injigA7J1rj2h9jo1_500

fashion shot, representative of Horst’s command of

light, dark and shadow impact

Horst immigrated to the United States and received his American

citizenship in 1943.  He would go on to serve in the U.S. army,

working as a photographer.

He photographed the then President of the United States Harry S. Truman.

and was granted the distinct honour of photographing

every post-war U. S.  First Lady.

(images from uberchicmichi):

horst bety ford from uberchicmichi07-first-ladies-in-dresses-betty-ford_145153817584

First Lady Betty Ford

horst barbara bush from uberchicmichi10-first-ladies-in-dresses-barbara-bush_145155439056

First Lady Barbara Bush

In the later part of his career, he photographed famed rockers of the

music scene:  Duran Duran and Mike Jagger.

His love of his art was simply an expression of his love of life.  He once stated,

“I like taking photographs, because I like life.

(and) I love photographing people best of all,

because most of all I love humanity.”

Horst P. Horst

A selection

Fashion finishes

(image from jacksonfineart)

horst white sleeve, vogue, 1936 jacksonfineart385

white sleeve, 1936

(image from jacksonfineart):

horst mainbocker corset, Paris 1939 jacksonfineart375

corset, 1939

(image from depate):

horst lipstick vogue1939 from depate.ocm-august-horst-p-horst-vogue-cover

lipstick-   Vogue, 1939

(image from vogue.com):

horst summer hats, 1940 ppp vogue.com-03_173134443362.jpg_gallery_max

summer hats, 1940

(image from tumblr.com):

horst platinum palladium print 1940 vogue -01_173132155866.jpg_gallery_max

V for Vogue, 1940

(images from depate):

VogueMay 15, 1941

May 1941, Vogue cover

shoes, vogue oct 1941, depate.comhorst-p-horst-vogue-october-1941-shoes

shoes-   Vogue, October 1941

(image from theenglishgroup.com):

horst double exposure photography, 1947 the english group Double-exposure-photograph-by-Horst-P-460x590

double exposure, 1947

(image from tumblr):

horst vogue september 1947tumblr_mnpft2h9Fp1rd11tco1_500

Vogue, September 1947

(image from onlyoldphotography):

horst, Evelyn tripp in Charles james dress 1951 onlyoldphotographytumblr_m5k8tiy0Ux1rw3fqbo1_1280

fashion model, Evelyn Tripp in dress designed by Charles James, 1951

(image from tumblr):

horst, vogue 1959tumblr_n0wefsI0mE1rxvjdto1_500

Vogue 1959

(image from photography – now):

Fotografie: Marcus Schneider

tall fashion, 1964

(image from tumblr):

Model Veruschka with Walking Man by George Segal

Vogue 1966

(image from photography – now):

Fotografie: Marcus Schneider

‘bared’-  1987

Celebrity status:  literati, movie stars

(images from tumblr):

horst salvador dali ny 1943tumblr_n9k4x880xt1qe0lqqo1_500

surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, 1943

horst Noel cowarad and gertrude Lawrence 1940sumblr_mn62vfVIAX1rdstp0o1_500

playwright, Noel Coward and actress, Gertrude Lawrence

horst loretta young 1941tumblr_msfkkc8thV1qgd9who1_500

actress, Loretta Young

David Alfaro Siqueiros et sa femme devant son œuvre "L'énorme co

Mexican muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros and his wife, 1945

horst luchino viscontitumblr_nagsfjiPiP1rrq6yfo1_500

screenwriter/director-  Luchino Visconti

Horst:  Photographer of Style

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

6 September 2014  –  4 January 2015

For additional details, visit:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-horst-photographer-of-style/about-the-exhibition/