Horst P. Horst, Mainbocher Corset (pink satin corset by Detolle), Paris, 1939
Horst: Photographer of Style
The Victoria and Albert Museum will launch a retrospective exhibition of one of the twentieth century’s greatest fashion photographers, Horst. P Horst. The exhibition will present 250 of Horst’s photographs, drawings and creations of haute couture and film clips, showcasing talent, his eye for beauty and his exceptional use of light. Horst was also one of the first photographers to transition into the use of colour photography in the 1930’s, as his long career led him through the worlds of art, fashion, design, theater and all manners of high society.
Horst P. Horst, Round the Clock, New York, 1987
The exhibition showcases his collaborations with designers such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, young models such as Lisa Fonssagrives and Helen Bennet, and artists like Jean Michel Frank, Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali. His exceptional career led him to influence artists such as Madonna, Robert Mappelthorpe and Tim Walker. However the exhibition will also showcase some of his lesser-known works such as his nude studies, voyages to the Middle East, and his creation of patterns from natural forms and fabrics.
Horst P. Horst, Dinner suit and headdress by Schiaparelli, 1947
Horst P. Horst (1906-99) created images that transcend fashion and time. He was a master of light, composition and atmospheric illusion, who conjured a world of sensual sophistication. In an extraordinary sixty-year career, his photographs graced the pages of Vogue and House and Garden under the one-word photographic byline “Horst”. He ranks alongside Irving Penn and Richard Avedon as one of the pre-eminent fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century.
Horst P. Horst, Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1942
An international figure, Horst worked predominantly in Paris and New York. Born in Germany, he became an American citizen in 1943, changing his surname from Bohrmann to Horst. His extraordinary range of work outside the photographic studio conveys a relentless visual curiosity and life-long desire for new challenges. The huge collection of prints, drawings, notebooks, scrapbooks and letters that Horst carefully preserved throughout his life, alongside thousands of prints in the archives of Condé Nast, bear witness to his virtuoso talent.
The exhibition will be open at the Victoria and Albert Museum from September 6th, 2014 to January 4th, 2015.