Peter Lindbergh is today regarded as one of the most influential fashion photographers of the past forty years. Lindbergh’s pure black-and-white photographs have determined the course of fashion photography since the 1980s. And now we have four decades of game – changing black and white photography, in our hands and eyes. We can touch and feel them.
When German photographer Peter Lindbergh shot five young models in downtown New York City in 1989, he produced not only the iconic British Vogue January 1990 cover but also the birth certificate of the supermodels. The image didn’t just bring revered faces together for the first time; it marked the beginning of a new fashion era and a new understanding of female beauty.
Coinciding with his major retrospective at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this book gathers more than 400 images from four decades of Lindbergh’s photography to celebrate his unique and game-changing storytelling and the new romantic and narrative vision it brought to art and fashion.
Whether in striking single portraits or dramatic situations of figure and setting, we trace the photographer’s cinematic inflections and his provocative play with female archetypes as subjects adopt the guise of dancers, actresses, heroines, and femmes fatales. Raw and seductive at once, we see how Lindbergh’s trademark monochrome pictures also redefined standards of beauty by emphasizing spirit and personality as much as looks, celebrating the elegance and sensuality of older women, and privileging natural and authentic beauty in an era of pervasive retouching.
In a testimony to Lindbergh’s illustrious status in the fashion world, his images are contextualized by commentaries from collaborators such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford, and Anna Wintour, who chose Lindbergh to shoot her first US Vogue cover. Their tributes explain just what makes Lindbergh’s images so unique and powerful.
Opening September 10th, the first exhibition in the Netherlands devoted to German photographer Peter Lindbergh, which is initiated, produced and toured by Kunsthal Rotterdam will feature more than 220 photographs. This spectacular overview of Lindbergh’s extensive oeuvre will also present exclusive material varying from previously unseen material from personal notes, storyboards, props, polaroids, contact sheets and films to monumental prints, in a large-scale retrospective of the photographer’s work. Lindbergh’s pure black-and-white photographs have determined the course of fashion photography since the early 1980s.
The exhibition ‘A Different Vision on Fashion Photography’ is an ode to Lindbergh’s multi-faceted oeuvre from 1978 to the present day. Regarded as one of the most influential fashion photographers, the multimedia exhibition is presented in a thematic approach marking his creative development and focusing on his themes, imaginary world and passions through the years, into nine different sections: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, The Darkroom, The Unknown, Silver Screen, Icons and an exclusive Rotterdam gallery. The ‘Rotterdam Gallery’, photographed for the October Issue of Dutch Vogue especially made for the exhibition, shows the results of Lindbergh’s shoot of Dutch top model Lara Stone and emerging talent Elisa Hupkes in the Port of Rotterdam.
Peter Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photography. His timeless images redefine the norms of beauty. Lindbergh’s visual idiom is influenced by the language of film and by playing with the type of the strong, self-willed woman, from the femme fatale to the heroine, but also the female dancer and the actress. His oeuvre is characterised by portraits that radiate a certain lack of inhibition and physical grace.
Exhibition Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision on Fashion Photography at Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands, September 10, 2016–February 12, 2017.