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The SCAD FASH Museum in Atlanta, USA, pays tribute to Horst P. Horst, one of the most aesthetic photographers of the 20th century, through more than 80 of the most avant-garde images of fashion.

© Courtesy of Horst Estate

Nicknamed the “photographer of elegance,” Horst P. Horst, born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (1906-1999), captured the icons of fashion, film, and high society. His classically inspired work remains resolutely modern, carried by an absolute sensuality.

© Courtesy of Horst Estate

This cutting-edge artist redefined the possibilities of fashion photography; from drawn illustration to film, from black and white to color. He began his career with Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school, then collaborated with Le Corbusier, before meeting Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, then star photographer of Vogue France. And his career took off in the heart of the elite Parisian circle of the 1930s. The Savannah College of Art and Design pays tribute to this German-American legend from Weißenfels, Germany, in a major exhibition in the United States. “Essence of the Times” brings to light his compositions that assimilated the principles of surrealism and classicism. More than 80 photographs are presented spanning seven decades, including never-before-seen prints from the fashion editorials he held in high regard.

Visual Sophistication

© Courtesy of Horst Estate

The SCAD FASH Museum exhibition makes room for his early still lifes for Vogue, his evocative platinum-palladium prints in the 1980s, and his portraits in the early 1990s, nine years before his death at age 93. His recognizable signature is full of beauty, grace, and refinement, praised by his peers, luminaries, and influencers like Diana Vreeland, legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue in the 1960s. Madonna also praised him in her 1990 Vogue video. He made his name with his attention to detail and stylized aesthetic, which he enhanced with dramatic lighting and theatrical poses, influenced by Greek sculptures. But he probably reached the quintessence of his style via this legendary shot of the Mainbocher corset between shapes and lights. If his work quickly found its place in major galleries from the 1930s, exhibitions and museum retrospectives have since multiplied throughout the world.

© Courtesy of Horst Estate

A rich and modern work that continues to seduce, to challenge the eye, and to inspire new generations of creators and photographers.

“Horst P. Horst: Essence of the Times


Through April 16, 2023

Nathalie Dassa