Horst Vintage

25 September - 6 December 2014

As representatives of Horst P. Horst since the 1980's, Hamiltons presented Horst Vintage, an exhibition of the artist's vintage prints from the thirties to fifties, which showcased 35 rare images, each from the Horst Estate and shot for Condé Nast, Vogue, in Paris, New York and London.  Titles included Brenda Frazier, 1930's; Schiaparelli Fashion, Paris, 1937; Trompe L'Oeil, Paris, 1938 and Jean Patchett, 1950's.


Widely recognised as one of the pre-eminent fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century, Horst's career spanned sixty years. German by birth, Horst was an international figure and largely based himself in Paris and New York; he became a US citizen in 1943 towards the end of WWII.  Horst Vintage coincided with his scholarly retrospective at The Victoria & Albert Museum: Horst Photographer of Style, and focused on his fashion and figurative images for Vogue Magazine.  Often working closely with art director Alexander Liberman, Horst's archive is large and diverse, spanning the opulent salons of pre-war Paris and ranging from extravagant studio set ups to esteemed collaborations with fellow luminaries such as Salvador Dali, Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, amongst others. 


By the mid 1930's Horst was recognised as Vogue's primary photographer and his work - a collaboration of talent including models, art directors, fashion editors and set technicians, often conducted from precise and intricately arranged studios - was deemed revolutionary, not only in terms of photography, but also in design, advertising, fashion and society.


Horst was fascinated with the female form, often eroticising it within his distinctive work - both black and white, and colour - whilst combining quirky surrealist undertones with a classical aesthetic.  He created images that transcend time and his work evokes a mystical sophistication, displaying a unique mastery of light, composition and illusion.  Being a stylish and imaginative individual who conjured an aura of glamour, it is no surprise his work evokes a similar response.