Autumn Exhibitions: Edward Steichen & Viviane Sassen

This Autumn, The Photographers’ Gallery presents two major exhibitions of work from artists and pioneering fashion photographers, Edward Steichen (1879 - 1973, USA) and Viviane Sassen (b. 1972, Netherlands).

Art Exhibition previously on at The Photographers' Gallery in Greater London, United Kingdom.
From Friday 31 October 2014 to Sunday 18 January 2015

Autumn Exhibitions: Edward Steichen & Viviane Sassen image

Published by anonymous on Tuesday 02 September 2014.
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Despite working in different eras and countries, both photographers share similar formal concerns. Each can be said to have significantly affected the aesthetics and expectations around fashion photography, playing a key role in developing it as a significant art form.

The two exhibitions are presented independently and designed to reflect Steichen and Sassen’s individual styles while offering parallels between the two artists’ modern and contemporary treatment of form, texture, light and shade.

Fashion photography has been in existence since the beginning of the medium’s history with the earliest recorded publication from influential French photographer Adolphe Braun who showed 288 plates of Viginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione, in official court costume.

However it only became a serious endeavor from 1909 when publishers Condé Nast took over Vogue magazine for which the production of high quality, art-directed images became an integral part of its success.

Edward Steichen was already an internationally celebrated painter and photographer when in 1923 he was offered the lucrative and high-profile position as chief photographer at Condé Nast. The appointment allowed Steichen to develop his artistic interests in shape and form, composition, perspective and chiaroscuro to elevate portrait and fashion photography to a new level. He borrowed from a range of aesthetic movements including Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism to develop the characteristic Art Deco style.