My blog on this Guy Bourdin exhibition is published on MarketingTribune (in Dutch only)
STUDIO DES ACACIAS BY NAZARENE PRESENTS A LANDMARK EXHIBITION ON GUY BOURDIN
“GUY BOURDIN – THE PORTRAITS” FEATURES A UNIQUESELECTION OF WORKS AND WILL RUN FROM 2 APRIL TO 30 APRIL 2016
Universally recognised as one of the most influential photographers of the late 20th century and a brilliant inventor of fashion and advertising imagery, Guy Bourdin shot several of his photography projects at the Studio des Acacias, an iconic venue that has hosted a series of big names in photography. Studio des Acacias by Mazarine was given a new lease of life in 2014 by French entrepreneur and media mogul Paul-Emmanuel eiffers. The exhibition centre now opens its doors to give the world a glimpse into a unique selection of the great photographer’s works. “Guy Bourdin: The Portraits” is a collection of the most personal works ever shown to the public in Paris since the artist’s death in 1991, showcasing rare works produced between 1950 and 1980.
Curated by the eminent historian Shelly Verthime, this exhibition features over 150 photographs shot by the artist that are both intimate and personal. Early black and white photographs–greatly influenced by Surrealism but little-known–stand alongside Bourdin’s more iconic, timeless photographs, while a special showcase of personal Super-8 films shot by the artist completes the collection. This exhibition was organised in collaboration with The Guy Bourdin Estate and Louise Alexander Gallery.
THE INFLUENCE OF SURREALISM
The exhibition, entitled Guy Bourdin: The Portraits traces the influence of Surrealism in Guy Bourdin’s work. Influenced by his close relationship with the artist Man Ray, Guy Bourdin’s early portraiture displays the origins of the uniquely Surrealist visual language that would eventually become part of his signature style. These early portraits are captured from his first pictorial layouts, such as ‘Chapeaux Choc’ – Vogue Paris and Artists’ portraits – Nouveau Femina. Both were published in February 1955 and present the clarity of his vision. This exhibition highlights Guy Bourdin’s artistic fascination with sharp graphic compositions, concepts, croppings and a narrative cinematic portraiture.
Concluding the journey through Guy Bourdin’s forty-year artistic pursuits are the distinctive color editorial and advertising imagery which represent a highpoint in late 20th century fashion photography. Pushing the boundaries of fashion photography with his mysterious, hypnotic and surreal vision, he presented bold and engaging images with a unique contemporary aesthetic. The exhibition also highlights Guy Bourdin as a pioneer of fashion film, showcasing personal Super-8 films he made at the same time as his photo-shoots. Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was first and foremost an innovative image-maker who never ceased to learn and explore from his early portraits to his later commercial work, where the figure is Integral to the image but always remaining secondary. Today his works remain as fresh and modern as when they were first produced.
Reopened in 2014 by the entrepreneur Paul-Emmanuel Reiffers, President and Founder of the Mazarine Group, the Studio des Acacias is a legendary space where leading photographers Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Guy Bourdin have worked. This space has been opened to all forms of contemporary artistic expression (art installations, video, photography, etc.) by welcoming leading photographers and contemporary artists for unique productions and exhibitions.Previous exhibitions:
- Matthew Day Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Oct. 2015
- Mark Handforth, Oct. 2014
- Claude Lévêque, Oct. 2013
The role of the Studio des Acacias is to stimulate artistic partnerships, and even to nurture them, by offering a context where people can meet, share ideas and experiment in Paris, in spaces dedicated to the plastic arts, photography and video. The Studio des Acacias is an artists’ studio. It provides a natural space to exhibit their work, as part of carefully curated programmes.
ABOUT PAUL-EMMANUEL REIFFERS
Paul-Emmanuel Reiffers, founder of the Mazarine Group, has been bringing together the worlds of art and business for over a decade. A creative force in his own right, he has organized major events and fashion shows
for Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Balenziaga, in close collaboration with his subsidiary, La Mode en Images.Inspired by the idea that creation can be a driving force for his colleagues, the “artisans of art”, his company provides a permanent showcase for contemporary artworks.
ABOUT GUY BOURDIN
Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was born in Paris. A painter his entire life and a self-taught photographer, he worked for magazines such as Vogue, Linea Italiana as well as for brands such as Chloe, Chanel, Versace and Charles Jourdan, among many others. He exhibited his first photographs at Galerie 29 in 1952. His work has been exhibited in major museums, such as the Tate and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, The National Art Museum of China in Beijing, MUBE in Sao Paulo, NGV in Melbourne. His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the MoMA in New York, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, SFMoMA in San Francisco and the collection of the V&A among others.
ABOUT SHELLY VERTHIME
Shelly Verthime is a cultural Historian and worked as a Creative Consultant within the world of contemporary fashion for brands such as Guy Laroche, YSL, and Lanvin. She holds a Visiting Fellowship at Central Saint Martins College in London and has an MA – Art & Fashion from the Royal College of Art. Verthime has curated and produced an international Guy Bourdin retrospective world tour and has edited several publications on Guy Bourdin’s legacy, such as Guy Bourdin: A Message for You, In Between, and the Victoria&Albert Museum catalogue of the Guy Bourdin retrospective.
30, rue des Acacias, 75017 Paris
Copyright pictures The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2016 / Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery
Picture of a young Guy Bourdin
Picture of a young Guy Bourdin
Copyright The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2016 / Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery