Fashion, Festivals

Horst’s High Style at The Düsseldorf Photo Weekend

All images © Horst P. Horst, courtesy Düsseldorf Photo Weekend

The homecoming of Horst P. Horst, the iconic fashion photographer and “special magician of light”, is the centrepiece of The Düsseldorf Photo Weekend 2016.

Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann, later known as Horst P. Horst, is to receive his first major retrospective in the country of his birth at the fifth edition of the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend.

An icon of fashion photography, Horst photographed more than 90 covers for Vogue, including Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dali and Rita Hayworth. With more than 250 photographs from a 60-year career on display, the exhibition shows Horst’s central casting in Paris’ 1930s fashion scene – known now as the golden age of couture.

Organised by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibition takes its cue from the original London show, which orientated Horst’s images in near-darkness, with black and white photographs only illuminated by spot-lights.

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 1949: Photographer Horst directing lights and cameras before taking fashion pix of Lisa Fonssagrives. (Photo by Roy Stevens/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Photographer Horst directing lights and cameras before taking fashion pix of Lisa Fonssagrives, New York, September 1949. (Photo by Roy Stevens/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

This is something of a homecoming for the photographer who coined the famous term: “Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.”

Horst was born in the East of Germany in 1906. As a 24-year-old, he moved to Paris to study architecture under the iconic Le Corbusier, before meeting, and becoming the lover, of the French Vogue photographer George Hoyningen-Huene.

Horst will be the centrepiece of a photography festival which comprises of more than 50 galleries, exhibiting photography from the beginnings of the 19th century to “contemporary debates about the role of the medium in modern culture.”

Model with her back to the camera sitting on the arm of a chair, wearing a black Schiaparelli dress with a large pink bow on the small of her back, a pair of black gloves are on the chair and in the background are large colored squares

Horst’s influence can be seen in the curation of other shows. An exhibition of the works of Mareike Foecking, entitled reality hung up so I called, “acts as a sort of B-side to the exhibition of Horst P. Horst, concentrating on digital changes, viewing habits and the surface of the photographic image.”

In addition, the city’s Foundation Museum Kunst Palast will show Eat Art, a section of work by the local artist Carlo Schröter about the city’s acclaimed Spoerri restaurant and the Eat Art Gallery in the Castle Square – both focal points of Düsseldorf’s dynamic art scene in the late 60s and early 70s.

Model Muriel Maxwell in white sunglasses putting on lipstick, wearing red-white-and-blue turban, andv holding a red-and-white striped bag

The Kunsthalle Düsseldorf dedicates a major solo exhibition to the renowned Chinese artist Song Dong, an artist who “has decisively shaped the contemporary conceptual art in China since the 90s.”

Titled Absence of Subject, Ruth Leuchter will be showing  works by the German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander, while the work of Barbara Kasten, one of the pioneers of abstract photography, can be seen at Kadell Willborn.

The Van Horn Society shows rare photographs from the NASA archives of the late 50s to 70s, with their exhibition Fly me to the Moon, while the Clara Maria Sels gallery will be showing works by Francesca Woodman, the American artist who died, unrecognised, at the age of 23 years, and whose oeuvre has since became world famous.

In the same building Sies + Höke will be showing the young, internationally renowned Swiss artist couple Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, as well as the black and white photography of Lucien Clergue, the co-founder of the Arles festival.

Horst: Photographer of Style, will launch at Düsseldorf’s NRW-Forum on Thursday, 11 February, 2016.

Further information can be found at Düsseldorf Photo Weekend 2016.