September 8 – 30, 2016
During the course of his legendary, 60 year-long tenure as the preeminent, quintessential fashion photographer, Richard Avedon shaped contemporary image-making and influenced international aesthetics through his iconic fashion work, portraiture series, reportage and sheer mastery of technique. Throughout his prolific career, it is perhaps his consistent, palpable connection and intimacy with his subjects that contribute to the enduring power of his photographs, leaving the viewer with an innate sense of not only the sitter’s presence, but also of Avedon’s himself. This interplay between photographer and subject extends beyond his photographic oeuvre into his role as director of film and commercial work and lies at the core of work and lies at RICHARD AVEDON—MOVING IMAGE.
In a series of never-before-seen Calvin Klein Jeans casting interviews from The Richard Avedon Foundation archives, 35 fashion models from the 1980s and 1990s reveal personal answers to Avedon’s questions heard off camera. These interviews, which continue the theme of the artist’s presence in the ensuing pieces in the exhibition, reveal both Avedon’s meticulous process, as well as an attempt to elucidate for the viewer the subject’s essence — a notion often ignored today when concerned with the traditionally silent and passive model.
Further demonstrating process, a 1996 series of CKbe perfume commercials featuring personalities of the era such as Kate Moss, are an evolution of these casting interviews into the commercial realm. As we view the advertisements, it becomes apparent that these are real words and authentic expressions of the subjects’ thoughts and desires, as researched, most likely, through interviews. James King talks about the suicide of her friend, a male model talks about recurring depression, and although not visible or audible, we perceive Avedon’s presence here through an understanding of the process that led to these works.
This revelation of the artist inside his art continues thematically from earlier film experimentations, with commercial works such as 1972’s Chanel No 5 series with Catherine Deneuve — where despite their choreographed nature, we encounter not just an actress reciting her lines, but rather a woman revealing her personal truths through Avedon’s process—or the 1973 short films commissioned for Japanese apparel brand, Jun Ropé, where Avedon stars as himself in the process of shooting. These miniature film masterpieces are hyper-staged, behind-the-scenes visions of the fashion world and its glamorous subjects. Through the frenetic energy on Lauren Hutton’s shoot, a model’s insecurities in Jean Shrimpton’s commercial, Veruschka’s transformation, and introverted Anjelica Huston poised on set, we gather an unexpected regard of the models, as well as a sense of Avedon as a true, ever-present artist and director: with every character, movement and spoken word meticulously crafted to create these compelling filmic gems that exist within his vast portfolio of moving image work. Further, the series demonstrates his pioneering notions on the psychology of film and advertising, wherein he propels forward the idea that it is not necessarily product, but rather aspiration and projection being sold—a revolutionary notion at the time.
Whether stylized and maximal, or raw and personal, the highly influential works contained within RICHARD AVEDON — MOVING IMAGE explore Avedon’s thoroughly researched processes, meditate on the relationships that exist between director and subject, and reveal the artistry of his incredible film work.
Exhibition design by Visionaire in collaboration with Marla Weinhoff, set designer and long-time Avedon collaborator.
RICHARD AVEDON AND VISIONAIRE
Richard Avedon was an important, early supporter of VISIONAIRE and a personal friend of the co-founding editors, Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos. As a model, Avedon shot Dean for advertising campaigns. As a makeup artist, Kaliardos worked closely with the photographer on shoots for the last decade of his career (as well as being an occasional theatre companion and barber).
Richard Avedon, or Dick, as he was affectionately known, also provided the raw material for what would become VISIONAIRE 37 VREELAND MEMOS, when he brought to the VISIONAIRE offices a comprehensive stack of memos he had received from Diana Vreeland from her time as editor-in-chief of Vogue, stating “this would make a great issue!”
THE RICHARD AVEDON FOUNDATION
The film and video seen in were the result of a collaboration between researchers at The Richard Avedon Foundation working alongside Visionaire staff unearthing and digitizing this long overlooked material. The recent relocation of the Foundation to its new building, located at 451 West 54th Street, will continue to enable the Foundation to foster research in Avedon’s body of work, which spans sixty years of fashion, reportage, commercial and portrait photography. The Foundation will open its archive to researchers and enthusiasts alike early this fall.
Cadillac House is a meeting place where innovators, creators and the curious can find inspiration — and one another. Located in downtown New York City, Cadillac House represents the brand’s commitment to its new home, one of the most dynamic locales in the world. Open to the public, Cadillac House functions simultaneously as a gallery, retail space, café and exhibition area for the brand’s new vehicles — a venue with an ever-evolving Cadillac point of view on subjects beyond automotive design. Cadillac House has several partnerships including: New York-based coffeehouse Joe Coffee serving coffee and light fare, The Council of Fashion Designers of America maintaining a retail space dedicated to innovative design, and art and fashion publication Visionaire curating non-traditional, immersive and experiential works in The Gallery at Cadillac House.
Visionaire Presents Richard Avedon Moving Image
In Collaboration With The Richard Avedon Foundation
September 8 – 30, 2016
THE GALLERY AT CADILLAC HOUSE
330 HUDSON STREET, NYC
#CADILLACHOUSE #VISIONAIREWORLD @VISIONAIREWORLD VISIONAIREWORLD.COM AVEDONFOUNDATION.ORG