Landmark exhibition curated by Peter Lindbergh opens in Spain

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Landmark exhibition curated by Peter Lindbergh opens in Spain
Luciana Curtis, New York, 1998 © Peter Lindbergh (courtesy Peter Lindbergh Foundation, Paris).

A CORUÑA.- Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories, the landmark exhibition curated by Peter Lindbergh himself shortly before his untimely death in 2019, has its first ever showing in Spain in A Coruña, Galicia, opening today and running until 28 February 2022.

Lindbergh spent two years selecting 161 images stretching over his four-decade spanning career in which he immortalised some of the world’s most celebrated women in fashion, cinema and beyond, including Nicole Kidman and Charlotte Rampling to Uma Thurman and many of the models who defined the 1990s – including Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. He left an indelible mark on the worlds of both fashion and photography. With more than 150 photographs from the early 1980s to 2019, the exhibition offers new and unexpected insights into the work of this legendary photographer.

The exhibition is presented in association with the Lindbergh Foundation under the direction of Benjamin Lindbergh, the photographer’s son. It has been organised with the personal support of Marta Ortega, a friend of the photographer and long-time admirer of his work, as part of an initiative for A Coruña with an ambition to bring world-class culture to the region, while at the same time promoting Galicia’s rich cultural spirit to the world.

The exhibition, which was designed by Peter Lindbergh himself, occupies a converted industrial building in the A Coruña harbour area in an architectural intervention led by Elsa Urquijo which is a remarkable new addition to the city.

An additional link between the exhibition and its local context is the educational program, conceived to showcase the value of Lindbergh’s work among scholars and arouse their interest in visual arts. Organised in collaboration with A Coruña University and some Galician visual artists, over 2000 kids will attend workshops at schools and exhibition visits.

The exhibition is accompanied by a special edition of the Taschen book “Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories”. A new book, “Raw Beauty”, features interviews and images of some of Lindbergh’s best-known subjects including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Penélope Cruz and Rosalía, brought together in celebration of his life, as well as essays by some of the celebrated creative figures who have chosen to make Galicia their home, including photographer Nick Knight and architect David Chipperfield. “Raw Beauty” also features the poetry and landscape photography of Galician artist Manuel Vilariño.

Benjamin Lindbergh said: “When Peter visited A Coruña in 2018, the connection between the harbour city and his aesthetics resonated immediately. Galicia's gloomy weather, the tumultuous tide waves intertwined with the omnipresent industrial background seemed like a perfect counterpart to the Ruhr region, where my father grew up in Germany. Such a place, where both force of nature and force of mankind unite harmoniously, would fit almost perfectly Untold Stories, the last exhibition he worked on and very likely his most personal project ever. On behalf of the Peter Lindbergh Foundation, I am immensely grateful to Marta Ortega for allowing Untold Stories to be displayed in her hometown and for Peter’s legacy to touch the people of Galicia and beyond.”

Marta Ortega said: “Peter and Galicia have great similarities…savage nature, natural beauty, the human warmth that makes you feel alive. It is my great privilege to be able to bring them both together. I do it with the sole purpose that each Coruñés, each Galician, each Spaniard, and everyone who travels the world and arrives in this wonderful land, will be able to freely enjoy and appreciate this exquisite exhibition that Peter prepared to the last detail before his untimely death. I hope, and firmly believe, that it will be the starting point for many who, once they have entered Peter’s world, will fall in love with his images and seek to get to know him in more depth.”

Peter Lindbergh was born in 1944 in Leszno, Poland. His work was exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including Images of Women, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo (1996, traveled to Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; and Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, among others); Stories Supermodels, Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen, Germany (2003); Visioni, FORMA Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan, Italy (2006); Beauduc, Les Rencontres d’Arles, France (2008); The Unknown, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011); Fotomuseum, Antwerp (2011–12); Berlin, Maison de la Photographie, Lille, France (2013); The Unknown and Images of Women, HDLU Museum, Zagreb, Croatia (2014); and Peter Lindbergh/Garry Winogrand: Women on Street, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf (2017).

“The first time I saw my photographs on the walls of the exhibition mock-up, I was startled, but in a positive way. It was overwhelming to be thus confronted with who I am. The exhibition allowed me to reconsider my images in a non-fashion context. The presentation aims to open the photographs to different interpretations and perspectives. However, I don’t try to claim that my pictures aren’t fashion photographs, that wouldn’t be true either. I insist on the definition “fashion photography because for me that term doesn’t mean that one has to depict fashion — photography is much bigger than fashion, it is a part of contemporary culture". Peter Lindbergh, 2019.

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