... I had the chance to visit the Erwin Blumenfeld exhibition at Somerset House.
The exhibition concentrates on Blumenfeld's artistic period in New York and some of his most extraordinary fashion photographs in colour are on display. After the photographer's death in 1969 his estate was divided into four stakeholders and due to conflicts between the parties many of these images never got published or presented to the public. Sadly he is not as well known as his contemporaries, e.g. Irving Penn or Richard Avedon. However, as history has taught us that does not necessarily reflect the brilliance of an artist. Blumenfeld belongs without doubt to the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries he found innovative and imaginative ways to present fashion and photograph the most beautiful women of his time.
Erwin Blumenfeld. Grace Kelly in Cosmopolitan, 1955.
Erwin Blumenfeld. Variant of a cover for Vogue, 1949.
After his death his outstanding reputation gradually faded into obscurity, however, this phase has fortunately come to an end. Following the exhibition at Somerset House is a Retrospective of his work in the Jeu de Paume, Paris in October. Although the Paris exhibition is definitely worth a trip, I would not want to have missed the smaller one in London.
Since it focuses mainly on his fashion photography additional show cases feature the images in their original context - the pages of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Detaching the photographs from the pages of the magazine often implies a shift of meaning. That is why I enjoy the concept of combining new prints on the walls and the original magazines.
Even though I would love to visit the Retrospective in Paris, I will not have to feel all too miserable should I not make it. I am already looking forward to two other exhibitions at Somerset House.
Miles Aldridge. I Only Want You to Love Me #1, 2011.
Next month Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me opens and will be the largest exhibition of his work to this date.
Mario Testino. Isabella Blow, 1997.
My personal highlight of the year is probably Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!
The exhibition will display pieces from her private collection, which is now owned by Daphne Guinness.
Come November I will be almost as excited as waiting to open Christmas presents.
For more information visit www.somersethouse.org.uk