In September 2016, the Kunsthal Rotterdam proudly presents ‘A Different History of Fashion’, the first major retrospective devoted to the legendary German photographer Peter Lindbergh. After this World Première in Rotterdam the show will be touring internationally from 2017 on. The exhibition and book devoted to more than thirty years of fashion images by Peter Lindbergh is created thanks to the exclusive and unconditional access he has given curator Thierry- Maxime Loriot to his personal archives.
‘A Different History of Fashion’ presents the most iconic images of Lindbergh through twenty five renowned fashion designers from different eras : with their personal commentaries on the images Lindbergh created, with original pieces from their respective haute-couture collections and with additional material that has never been shown before.
Some of these designers like Azzedine Alaia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani or Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garçons have collaborated with the photographer for over thirty years now. These photographs, some published in monthly magazines, most often never presented to the general public, are unfortunately forgotten despite their historical importance. Through the eye of designers and collaborators of the photographer, this exhibition tells a story of contemporary fashion, bringing together works that have influenced a generation of designers, photographers and artists.
Peter Lindbergh works with the most prestigious magazines of fashion since the late 1970s, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, The Face and W. He is the first photographer to include a narrative in his fashion series. His approach in fashion storytelling brought a new vision of photography. Over the years, he has created images that have marked the history of photography and fashion, characterized by a minimalist approach of the post-modernist photography. Lindbergh’s romantic vision of his subjects, presenting their pure state, a face without makeup, in a baring that enhances the authenticity and the natural beauty of the models, offers a new interpretation of women post- 1980s. Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz are gathered for the first time in Lindbergh’s famous photograph ‘Wild at Heart’, marking the beginning of the era of top models and redefining the modern image of women, and thus propelling them the top of their glory.
The exhibition features 250 photographs, together with the display of several iconic haute couture-creations by some of world’s most famous fashion designers. Unseen material will be present such as polaroids, storyboards, sets, ‘behind the scene’ films with muses Kate Moss and Mariacarla Boscono, and also video interviews with close collaborators including Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford, Dutch model Lara Stone and Mika.
Emily Ansenk, Director Kunsthal: " We are very proud to present Peter Lindbergh's work at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, since it is relevant now more than ever. Often referred to as one of the great masters of photography with Penn, Avedon and Newton, Lindbergh’s humanist approach communicates universal values about beauty, ageism and society. His natural images - often in black and white - stand out among the excessive over-retouching, found now in other photographer's work. The poetic storytelling of his work is about reality, honesty, but also about the personality of the subjects he photographs, something many can relate to..."
Peter Lindbergh is born in Lissa, Germany (1944) and currently lives and works in Paris, Arles and New York. He has spent his childhood in Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia). At 18, he moved to Switzerland. Eight months later, he went from Lucerne to Berlin, where he followed evening courses at the Academy of Fine Arts and hitchhiked to Arles in the footsteps of his idol, Vincent van Gogh. After his return to Germany he studied Painting at the College of Art in Krefeld. In 1969, while still a student, he had his first exhibition at the renowned Galerie Denise René / Hans Mayer. Concept Art marked his last period of interest in art. In 1971 he turned his attention to photography and worked for two years as assistant to Düsseldorf-based photographer Hans Lux. Lindbergh’s characteristic photographs in black-and-white are influenced by early German cinema, modern dance from the 20’s and industrial surroundings.
This exhibition was developed by the Kunsthal Rotterdam in collaboration with guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot and Peter Lindbergh, who gave the museum exclusive access to his archives.