Exhibition: Follow Me by Guy Bourdin


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Guy Bourdin (1928 – 1991) is internationally recognized for his provocative and convention resisting images. This May, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography in Moscow will present Bourdin’s retrospective exhibition which will feature more than fifty of the artist’s most iconic works, created between the 1950s and the mid-1980s.

Guy Bourdin
Vogue. Paris, May 1970
© The Guy Bourdin Estate /
Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

Originally a painter, deployed aerial photographer and later an apprentice of Man Ray, Guy Bourdin developed a signature style in photography – mainly in the realms of commercial and fashion, but at the same time very autonomous works – highlighted with bright colours, surreal elements and according apply of his models.

The images as presented in Moscow range from Bourdin’s personal archives to campaigns assigned by French Vogue and Charles Jourdan. In these works, Bourdin reflected themes of perversions, lust and consumption, while deliberately avoiding mere product representation. Thereby, Bourdin’s radical approach still has an immense impact on the fashion world today.

Guy Bourdin
Vogue. Paris, March 1972
© The Guy Bourdin Estate /
Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

The Lumiere Brothers Gallery was founded in 2001 by Natalia Grigorieva-Litvinskaya and is one of the oldest photography galleries in Moscow. Generally, the gallery promotes the works of photographers from the Krushchew Thaw (Yuriy Abramochkin, Lev Borodulin, Nina Sviridova and others), Lithuanian school of photography (Romualdas Pozerskis, Antanas Sutkus) and additionally post-war European and American artists (Steve Schapiro, Ruth Orkin, Sabine Weiss). What the represented artists have in common is their way of working – primarily using innovative techniques in terms of abrupt contrasts of light and shadow and unconventional angles either subverting the national aesthetics of Soviet photography or art conventions in general.

Guy Bourdin
Guy Bourdin Archives, circa 1978
© The Guy Bourdin Estate /
Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

Consequently, it comes as no surprise that Bourdin’s photographs are on display in The Lumiere Brothers Gallery, named after the famous French inventor duo. The Lumiere brothers were pioneers in colour photography, later film, therefore, the museum’s exhibition of Bourdin's colourful images and experimental approach to fashion photography seems to fit perfectly within that context. The legacy of Bourdin is unquestionable, still making it impossible for anyone to step into his shoes.

The exhibition ‘Follow Me’ will be on show from 28 February - 17 May 2020 in The Lumiere Brothers Gallery in Moscow.



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