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Harper's Bazaar: A Decade of Style at the International Center of Photography
Ralph Gibson, Caroline Winberg (Harper’s Bazaar, May 2005).
NEW YORK, N.Y.- In the ten years since Glenda Bailey became Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, she and Creative Director Stephen Gan have carried on the magazine’s tradition of publishing innovative, high-impact photography. Harper’s Bazaar: A Decade of Style, on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) from September 9, 2011 through January 8, 2012, distills that decade into a choice group of nearly thirty images by some of the most important photographers working today. To emphasize the work’s original context and the magazine’s award-winning design, the exhibition will include several vitrines with issues open to display extended stories alongside the striking covers, swept clean of cover-line text, that are sent to Bazaar’s subscribers.

Photographers in the exhibition include Peter Lindbergh, Jean-Paul Goude, David Bailey, William Klein, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson, Camilla Akrans, Sølve Sundsbø, Mark Seliger, Tim Walker, Mario Sorrenti, and Karl Lagerfeld. The magazine has also regularly featured artists who are not usually associated with fashion, so Nan Goldin, Ralph Gibson, and Chuck Close are in the mix, along with two photographers who have a long, legendary history at Bazaar, Hiro and Melvin Sokolsky.

In addition to inventive fashion images in a wide range of styles, from classic to cinematic, there are vivid portraits of designers Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and Diane Von Furstenberg, and celebrities, including Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga.

“Fashion magazines have always considered it an important part of their mission to combine art and commerce,” said ICP Guest Curator Vince Aletti, who organized the exhibition. “Harper’s Bazaar has a particularly distinguished history of hiring great photographers, printing important writers, and training a keen eye on the arts.”

“Fashion reflects what’s going on in our world, and Bazaar makes pop culture fashionable,” said Bailey. “This exhibition is the culmination of a decade in a new world where every popular phenomenon comes with a fashion spin.”

Under Bailey, Bazaar has been especially alert to shifts in the culture, casting Ellen DeGeneres as a successful presidential candidate in one wish-fulfilling fashion feature and imagining the second chapter in the life of an abruptly downsized female exec in another. Photographers are encouraged to borrow freely from the wide world of pop, so Seliger is inspired by iconic shots of Barbra Streisand for his black-and-white portraits of Jennifer Aniston, Demarchelier casts Stephanie Seymour as a Warhol superstar, and Julianne Moore looks like she stepped out of a John Currin painting in Peter Lindbergh’s witty transformation.

An accompanying book, Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits collects these alluring, lively, and humorous visions into a single volume that celebrates the best of Bazaar from 2001 to 2011.

Aletti previously co-curated ICP’s dramatic “Year of Fashion” in 2009, including the shows Avedon Fashion 1944–2000, Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now, and This Is Not a Fashion Photograph.



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