Jeanloup Sieff: The years of Harper’s Bazaar, New York 1961-1966

Galleria Carla Sozzani

March 5, 2007

Jeanloup Sieff
The years of Harper’s Bazaar, New York 1961-1966

Opening Saturday 10th March 2007

from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm

from 10th March to 7th April 2007

Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

10.30 am – 7.30 pm

Wednesday and Tuesday 10.30 am – 9.00 pm

Monday 3.30 pm – 7.30 pm

Galleria Carla Sozzani

Corso Como 10 – Milano

Tel. 02.653531 – Fax 02.29004080

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: http://www.galleriacarlasozzani.org

Jeanloup Sieff, refined and light photographer of sophisticate taste, is well-known for his peculiar fashion photographs. During his life he works on: journalism, portraits, nudes, landscape and fashion photography. For many years he has been working with the most important magazines in Europe and in the USA.

Even when his notoriety was at his peak and his photographs exhibited all over the world, Sieff refused to theorize on his work and remained out of the critic art context. In this sense, he kept a certain distance from the majority of the photographers of his generation. Jeanloup Sieff expressed his sense of irony and his personal point of view on life and photography in his writing. Many of his books are composed by images and texts, full of brilliant quotes and with original and evocative titles. In 1990 he published Demain le temps sera plus vieux in which he outlines backwards his career as a photographer, telling many anecdotes about his private life.

The exhibition at Galleria Carla Sozzani is focused on a precise period of Sieff’s long career: the fashion photographs made for Harper’s Bazaar from 1692 to 1966. In 1961 Sieff left Paris to try to make his fortune in New York and he had a precise goal: working for the most popular fashion magazine of that period, Harper’s Bazaar. He shared a studio with Frank Horvat, who was already at Harper’s. At that time, he shot sophisticated and ironic photographs where fashion became the pretext of creating surreal and elegant atmospheres with a Hitchcock-like echo. The dresses, and most of all, the female body, became lines and material that the photograph valorised using eccentric and surreal framings.

When I look at my 60s fashion shots, in particular those I did for Harper’s Bazaar, I am full of admiration not for their quality but for the energy I then possessed. Was it the euphoric energy of youth that made me wants to invest so much of myself, or was it the particularly stimulating atmosphere at Harper’s? It was probably both, but I fear the first reason was the essential one…*

At that time Alexei Brodovitch was the director at Harper’s and then it was the turn of Marvin Israël, important artist and director of the magazine for a shirt but very bright period. Dresses, hairstyles, make up and sittings create a dreamy word, rich in references to film and literature myths: those were the years when “we could still shoot fashion photography having fun and showing something else than boring dresses”**. The photographs, often composed in a complex way from a graphic point of view, presented a distant and mysterious woman, an enigmatic and intriguing one.

Official Web Site: http://www.jeanloupsieff.com/

Courtesy galerie Baudoin Lebon and Jeanloup Sieff Estate

* Text written by Jeanloup Sieff, «Demain le temps sera plus vieux – Jeanloup Sieff 1950 -1990 », Editions Contrejour, 1990.

** Ibid.