Duesseldorf Tourism and Duesseldorf Airport Announce: New Art Exhibition: “Horst: Photographer of Style” at NRW-Forum Duesseldorf, February 12 – May 22, 2016

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A comprehensive retrospective of German-born Horst P. Horst - who was one of the leading photographers of the 20th century and remains an important influence today - opens at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, on February 12, 2016, and runs until May 22. The exhibition is curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, and presents 250 photographic works spanning 60 years, including iconic images from his time as a Vogue photographer and lesser-known projects alongside rarely seen drawings, letters, films and couture gowns.

Horst directing fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives, 1949. Photo by Roy Stevens /Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Mastery of light and shade

Horst was born Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann in 1906 in Weissenfels, Germany. He studied at Hamburg Kunstgewerbeschule before travelling to Paris in 1930 to work as an apprentice to the architect Le Corbusier. He began his career as photographer under the guidance of George Hoyningen-Huene, working for Vogue from 1932 onwards. In 1939, Horst moved to New York and in 1943 he became an American citizen, joined the United States Army and changed his surname from Bohrmann to Horst. After the war, he built a house in Long Island, New York, and remained in America for the rest of his life. He died in Florida in 1999, at the age of 93.

Creatively, Horst traversed the worlds of photography, art, fashion, design, theatre and high society. The exhibition explores his collaborations and friendships with leading couturiers such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris; stars including Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth; and artists and designers such as Salvador Dalí and Jean-Michel Frank.

Horst found inspiration from many sources, including ancient Classical architecture, the Bauhaus ideals of modern design and Surrealist art. His elegant black and white studies from the 1930s show his mastery of light and shade. The advent of color film enabled a fresh approach and Horst went on to create more than 90 Vogue covers and countless pages in vivid color. A selection of 25 large color photographs, newly printed from the original transparencies from the Condé Nast Archive, demonstrate Horst’s exceptional skill as a colorist. These prints feature Horst’s favorite models from the 1940s and 50s, such as Carmen Dell’Orefice, Muriel Maxwell and Dorian Leigh, and are shown together with preparatory sketches, which have never previously been exhibited.

The exhibition also reveals little-known aspects of Horst’s work: nude studies, travel photographs from the Middle East and patterns created from natural forms. The creative process behind some of his most famous photographs, such as the Mainbocher Corset, is revealed through the inclusion of original contact sheets, sketches and cameras.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Horst photographed some of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious homes for House and Garden and Vogue under the editorship of his friend Diana Vreeland. A three-sided projection and interactive screens presents these colorful studies. Among the most memorable are the Art Deco apartment of Karl Lagerfeld, the three lavish dwellings of Yves Saint Laurent and the Roman palazzo of artist Cy Twombly.

In the latter years of Horst’s life, his early aesthetic experienced a renaissance. The period also witnessed a flurry of new books, exhibitions, and television documentaries celebrating his work. Horst produced new, lavish prints in platinum-palladium for museums and the collector’s market, selecting emblematic works from every decade of his career. These prints are showcased as the finale to the exhibition.

Exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Exhibition Publication
To accompany the exhibition, the V&A has published HORST: Photographer of Style (edited by Curator Susanna Brown), with a foreword by Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and essays by a team of international contributors.

For more information on the retrospective, please visit http://www.nrw-forum.de.

Düsseldorf’s tourism office is offering hotel and city specials for stays in 2015 and 2016. The package, called “Düsseldorf à la Card,” can be booked right from the tourism office’s website at https://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en/accommodation/hotel-packages/duesseldorf-a-la-card/. Prices start at €49 per night per person based on double-occupancy for a 2-3-star hotel in the city center and at €95 per person for a 4-star hotel. The package includes breakfast, one DüsseldorfCard (free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions), and a city information package. Please check the website for current information.

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Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s Next Generation HubTM, offers several non-stop flights from US cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit http://www.dus.com.

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