As representatives of Horst P. Horst since the 1980’s Hamiltons is proud to present Horst Vintage an exhibition of his vintage prints from the thirties to fifties; showcasing 35 rare images, each from the Horst Estate and shot for Condé Nast, Vogue, in Paris, New York and London. Titles include Brenda Frazier, 1930’s; Schiaparelli Fashion, Paris, 1937; Trompe L’Oeil, Paris, 1938 and Jean Patchett, 1950’s.
Widely recognised as one of the pre-eminent fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century, Horst’s career spanned sixty years and his work ranks alongside Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. German by birth, Horst was an international figure and largely based himself in Paris and New York; he became a US citizen in 1943 towards the end of WWII. Horst Vintage coincides with his scholarly retrospective at The Victoria & Albert Museum: Horst Photographer of Style; and focuses on his fashion and figurative images for Vogue Magazine. Often working closely with art director Alexander Liberman, Horst’s archive is large and diverse, spanning the opulent salons of post-war Paris and ranging from extravagant studio set ups to esteemed collaborations with fellow luminaries such as Salvador Dali, Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, amongst others.
By the mid 1930’s Horst was recognised as Vogue’s primary photographer and his work - a collaboration of talent including models, art directors, fashion editors and set technicians, often conducted from precise and intricately arranged studios – was deemed revolutionary not only in terms of photography but design, advertising, fashion and society.
‘As editor-in-chief of British Vogue, I commissioned Horst, together with Grace Coddington, to do a fashion story of Yasmin LeBon… I remember her telling me about the shoot afterwards and the extraordinary effect Horst was able to achieve – how he did something to the lights, moved them in a very specific way, and suddenly you had a ‘Horst’ picture with that signature chiaroscuro, those dramatic shadows. The images were very much of Horst’s ‘period’ but they were also absolutely timely and relevant.’ - Anna Wintour. Horst Photographer of Style, V&A Publishing, Edited by Susanna Brown.
Horst was fascinated with the female form, often eroticising it within his distinctive work –both black and white, and colour- whilst combining quirky surrealist undertones with a classical aesthetic. He created images that transcend time and his work evokes a mystical sophistication, displaying a unique mastery of light, composition and illusion. Being a stylish and imaginative individual who conjured an aura of glamour, it is no surprise his work evokes a similar response.
Hamiltons represents Horst’s protégé, Cathleen Naundorf, and sponsored her V&A photo shoot of the rarely exhibited 1930’s couture evening gowns from the museum’s collection, some of which Horst photographed himself, in honour of his retrospective exhibition. Naundorf’s technique, inspired by her mentor, merges film’s characteristic colours and plays with light and shadow to create otherworldly images. Blending fashion, art and photography, Naundorf has built a prominent and esteemed name for herself in the fashion world.