Meet Our Artists: Horst P. Horst
Meet Our Artists is a recurring virtual series that presents biographical content introducing photographers whose work and journey is compelling and engaging. The content is intended for informative and viewing pleasure.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT HOLDEN LUNTZ GALLERY, ON JUNE 20, 2020. READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE.
Horst P. Horst: A Pioneer of Classic Fashion Photography
Horst P. Horst is a pioneer of classic fashion photography. He produced distinctive, elegant work that made him one of the leading fashion photographers of the mid-20th century.
“Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.”
Horst P. Horst, 1981
In the video, Horst P. Horst, 1981, made available on YouTube, we are presented with a rare interview with legendary photographer Horst P. Horst.
Interviewed by Barbara Lee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Horst answers questions for the television program Visions and Images: American Photographers on Photography. Horst reminisces while recalling studying under LeCorbusier, being an assistant for Hoyningen-Huene, and working under Conde Nast. In this intriguing video, we have the privilege of hearing one of history’s greatest photographers speak about his career in his own words.
Horst: Photographer of Style
The video, Horst: Photographer of Style available on YouTube, surveys curators, magazine editors, models, and people close to Horst who speak of his extraordinary talent and the significant influence of his work.
The video also explores the archives at Conde Nast, where we see prints from Horst’s 60-year career as a photographer. This video, as well as the Victoria & Albert museum retrospective, is a testament to the power and influence of Horst as a great artist.
The Early Years
Born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann in 1906 Germany, Horst P. Horst studied architecture and later apprenticed with modernist icon Le Corbusier in Paris. Through his studies Horst learned the principles of design and visual organization. Horst would rely on this knowledge and use its lessons in his photography. While in Paris, he traded architecture for photography. Horst’s architecture training imbued him with patience, attention to detail, and an eye for perfection. These attributes guided him through his painstaking process of organizing photographic sessions.
Horst in Vogue
Fashion photographer, George Hoyningen-Huene, who further sharpened his vision, mentored him and by 1931 he was shooting for French Vogue and then in British Vogue in 1932, thanks to art director Mehemed Agha. He incorporated the influence that modernism and surrealism had on the art world into his photographs. At that time he also photographed such celebrities as Greta Garbo, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Joan Crawford, and Katherine Hepburn.
Horst P. Horst, Mainbocher Corset, 1939