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Nov 01 - Jan 26

Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Deichtorstraße 1-2, Hamburg, , 20095, Germany
  • Vogue Paris- December 1969. © The Estate of Guy Bourdin, 2013

  • Vogue Paris-December 1978. © The Estate of Guy Bourdin, 2013

  • Pentax-Kalender 1980. © The Estate of Guy Bourdin, 2013


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Guy Bourdin retrospective at the House of Photography, Hamburg

The influence of legendary photographer Guy Bourdin (1928–1991) in contemporary fashion editorials is astonishing. There isn’t a single week without a shoot resembling some of his famous works or a music video that tries to imitate his surreal aesthetics. Guy Bourdin was a true fashion photography pioneer, a visionaire that transcended all known limits about what is acceptable and what not in a fashion spread, an image maker that questioned the boundaries between painting, photography and design. Bourdin launched his career in the 50’s with fashion assignments for Vogue Paris and collaborated with brands such as Chanel, Ungaro and Charles Jourdan. With his bold, almost hyper real use of color, his meticulously prepared sets and his unique take on sensuality, he created an astounding creative universe that managed to resemble heart and soul the spirit of a whole era.

The House of Photography at Deichtorhallen Hamburg recently announced an exhibition dedicated to this iconic photographer, to be on view from November 1, 2013 to January 26, 2014. This most comprehensive exhibition to date is an overview of the essential components of Guy Bourdin’s oeuvre as well as an introduction to various works from his personal archives that have never been seen before. As the organizers point out, this is the first time that both his works as a painter and his notes on films will be ever shown at an exhibition. B&W shots dating from the 1950s are also included, featuring portraits of artists and views of the city of Paris, as well as Polaroids, sketches and texts on his 40 years in photography.

The exhibition not only examines Guy Bourdin’s career, but also provides insight into the complex working processes of the photographer’s mind. Ingo Taubhorn, the curator of the exhibition, offers his unique insight into the work of this genius “Guy Bourdin irreverently swept away all the standards of beauty, conventional morals and product portrayals in one fell swoop. Around the female body he constructed visual disruptions, the outrageous, the hair-raising, the indiscreet, the ugly, the doomed, the fragmentary and the absent, torsos and death – all the tension and the entire gamut of what lies beyond the aesthetic and the moral “. In an era where copies claim more attention than the original, Bourdin’s retrospective is a definite must see.