I went to a private view at the Jeu de Paume on Monday night to celebrate the launch of their new photography shows: Adrian Paci and Laure Albin Guillot. Laure Albin Guillot's work was particularly interesting as she was ahead of her time. She was a successful female photographer working in the early 20th century, who made a name for herself in the 20s with her classical nudes. But it was her studies of micrography or 'Micrographie decorative' that brought her international recognition. Inspired by Japonism she photographed microscopic preparations and framed many of them in lacquered wood to create decorative art. A series of these are lit up in the gallery and look more like beautiful paintings or even small stained-glass windows than photographs.
As her career developed she moved into a more commercial realm, began working with fashion photography, was appointed director of both the photographic archives of the national Beaux-Arts authority and the Cinematique Nationale, and she published a book on photography in advertising, one of the only books of its kind produced by a French photographer at the time - no mean feat considering she was a woman working in a male-dominated profession.
British artist, Linder Sterling, who began making art in the 70s inspired by punk music, was wearing meat dresses long before Lady Gaga as a feminist protest against men. The Musee d'Art Moderne is hosting her first retrospective, 'Femme/Object' - a collection of 200 of her collages that she made by tearing images from pornographic and women's housekeeping and beauty magazines. Her work got her noticed by the fashion industry and couple of years ago she collaborated with Richard Nicoll on a performance art that was captured on film by Linder's friend, acclaimed fashion photographer, Tim Walker.
The last one I wanted to mention is Mannequin: Le Corp de la Mode at Les Docks - an exhibition suitably (for PFW) all about models, the history of their profession and their role in fashion. It brings together nearly 120 images dating back to the beginning of the 19th century up until modern day. Amongst the photos are famous images shot by Helmut Newton, Juergen Teller and Guy Bourdin.
|Kate Moss by Corinne Day, 1990|