French photographer Guy Bourdin’s influence on fashion imagery is almost impossible to overstate. His darkly humorous, color-drenched, proto-Pop magazine images throughout much of the 20th century have given rise to David LaChapelle, Nick Knight, Tim Walker, and a host of similarly high-impact lensmen for whom the product is secondary to story. Yet during his lifetime he never sought fame or fortune, almost to a pathological degree. Thus there have been very few books and exhibits devoted to his oeuvre.
So it’s with intense anticipation that the Somerset House will soon stage a major retrospective, in fact the UK’s largest exhibition of his work to date. Over 100 images and previously unseen material will go on view, spanning his 40-year career, which started as Man Ray’s protégé and including his seminal work for Vogue Paris in particular, as well as campaigns for Charles Jourdan, Chanel, Issey Miyake, Ungaro, and Versace. This is complemented by Polaroid test shots, contact sheets, and transparencies, as well as rarely seen Super-8 films he shot on set.
Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker, November 27, 2014 – March 15, 2015, Somerset House, London
all images © The Guy Bourdin Estate 2014 / Courtesy of A+C