One hundred years of photography in Vanity Fair
The prestigious publication selects its best images and covers througout the years to celebrate at Ivorypress a centuy in the public eye
We are beyond an exclusive array in the Ivorypress space Art + Books Space I in Madrid: the hundred years of Vanity Fair, one of the most important publications, among other things because of its close relationship with some of the best photographers of all time, such as Steichen and Lebovitz.
Throughout its one hundred year history, Vanity Fair has featured in its pages the most outstanding politicians, sportmen, celebrities, artists, actors and actresses of the day, always portrayed by masters of contemporary photography. The exhibition Vanity Fair 100 Years: Masters of Photography gathers more than one hundred originals and iconic covers from both periods of the publication, from 1913 to 1936, and from the beginning of its re-edition in 1983 to our times. This array will be on view from the 16th of November to the 8th of january of 2011. It includes some of the most important photographs that this magazine has published, such as the portraits by Edward Steichen of actresses suh as Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and marlene Dietrich or those by Annie Leibovitz of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon thirty six years after the making of Some like it Hot.
The Vanity Fair team and Ivorypress with its directors in Spain, Lourdes Garzón and Antonio Sanz, have worked together on this exhibition for more than a year. The exhibition starts of with the collection of photographs of the publication through a selection made by the director of new projects of Condé Nast-Vanity Fair's publishing group- and the curator of the exhibition, Debra Smith.
Part of the originals that compose this array have already been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2008 and others-such as the instant shots that Helmut Newton took pf Sigourney Weaver in 1995 or James Cagney portrait captured by Imogen Cunningham in 1932-will be put on view for the first time for the European public. "It is a unique opportunity since certain works by key figures of photography from the twenty-first and twentieth century can be seen in our country for the first time", points out Elena Ochoa, founder and CEO of Ivorypress.
"The status of a work of art that photography has nowdays is a phenomenon that has developed in the last forty years", explains Elena Ochoa. "The works of the creators that can be seen at the exhibit- nowdays considered masters and highly valued by the art market-, were not completed to be exhibited in museums or art galleries, but comissioned by Vanity Fair to accompany short articles on a certain person or experience".
The two Vanity Fair periods have many simmilarities. "The flag appeared in the twenties- becoming the cultural reference of the Jazz Age- and then reappeared at the beginning of the eighties, epitomizing the modern and the trendy" explains Debra Smith. Therefore, the exhibition incorporates a significant percentage of photographs from the dancing and musical world, specially in the first period, such as the one of Maurice Chevalier taken by Steichen in 1929 or the one of Jean Barry, taken in 1931 by Hoynigen-Huené.
In the contemporary period, the masters of photography that have worked for this magazine, have followed the art world closely, both plastic and theatrical, as well as politics and the latest gossip. Proof of it are images such as the one of the painter Willem de Kooning, taken by Irving Penn or the portrait of Balthus and his wife taken by Bruce Weber, that are also in the exhibition.
The same guidelines have been followedb by the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair, which in its almost three years of history, has published works by renown contemporary photographers. Like in the case of Annie Leibovitz, who in 2007 captured, in the intimacy of the dressing room, Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar, or the portrait of Scarlet Johansson and Javier Bardem, taken in 2008 by Norman Jean Roy, which made the actors the subjects of a new version of Hitchcock's Rear Window.
"Vanity Fair has created a recognizable style, which many other publications have tried to imitate", confirms Elena Ochoa, "providing a new vision in the photographic medium both for the cultured public and the amateur".