“If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.”
Peter Lindbergh´s works are one of the most intense and dramatic portraitures we can think of. His aspiration to reflect human reality has quickly become one of his biggest strengths and signature feature and has given rise to timelessly beautiful photographs. Opening on the 10th of September, there will be a major exhibition at Kunsthal Rotterdam showcasing his multi-faceted oeuvre from 1978 to the present day.
The first exhibition in the Netherlands devoted to German photographer Peter Lindbergh, which is initiated, produced and toured by Kunsthal Rotterdam and in collaboration with Peter Lindbergh Studio, Paris and curator Thierry Maxime Loriot, will feature more than 220 photographs. This spectacular overview of Lindbergh’s extensive oeuvre will also present exclusive material varying from previously unseen material from personal notes, storyboards, props, polaroids, contact sheets and films to monumental prints, in a large-scale retrospective of the photographer’s work. His avant-garde images quickly addressed the concerns and stakes of society with his singular vision, in a world with established aesthetic codes. Lindbergh’s pure black-and-white photographs have determined the course of fashion photography since the early 1980s. Peter Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photograph with timeless images redefining the norms of beauty. Lindbergh’s visual idiom is influenced by the language of film and by playing with the type of the strong, self-willed woman, from the femme fatale to the heroine, but also the female dancer and the actress. His oeuvre is characterised by portraits that radiate a certain lack of inhibition and physical grace. Based on an original concept by curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, he explains that: “This exhibition is not a chronological survey, but a narrative in which you discover the universe of Peter Lindbergh through his unique eye, his strong themes and his collaborations with artists like Pina Bausch and Jenny Holzer, but also reveals the humanism found in his work, seen in a social context. It says a lot about his own values, his vision on ageism, beauty and feminity, on social issues and about the boundless creativity and imagination found in his photographs.”
Considered a pioneer in photography, he introduced a form of new realism by redefining the standards of beauty with timeless images. His humanist approach and idealization of women set him apart from the other photographers as he prioritizes the soul and the personality. His singular vision presents them in their pure state, « in all honesty », avoiding all stereotypes as he favours a face with hardly any make-up, bare in a way that enhances the authenticity and the natural beauty of the women he photographs. He offered a new interpretation of women post-1980’s without paying too much attention to clothing, believing that, as he said, « If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person. »In the May 2016 issue of the prestigious magazine Art Forum, Lindbergh declares in his interview with journalist Isabel Flower that: “A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?”
Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision on Fashion Photograhpy. Presented at Kunsthal Rotterdam from September 10th, 2016 until February 12th, 2017