Fri 29 Sep 2023 to Sat 18 Nov 2023
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm
Artist: Patrick Demarchelier
ATLAS Gallery presents the first major solo exhibition of photographs in the United Kingdom by world-renowned fashion and portrait photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Demarchelier passed away in March 2022 and Atlas Gallery have been fortunate enough to be able to work with his estate and studio to bring this exhibition to London as a tribute to one of the greatest figures in the world of fashion and portrait photography of the last century.
Added to list
After his passing a small number of signed prints still remained, from which which the gallery is lucky to be able to offer a small selection of some of his most iconic images for exhibition and sale.
It is somehow appropriate that Demarchelier’s first job, after receiving a camera as a gift on his 17th birthday, was printing and retouching passport photos in a small town in Northern France. One cannot help thinking that it was here that the seeds were sewn for a career, photographing some of the most famous faces in the world, that was to last nearly 6 decades. In Paris in the late 1960’s, inspired by Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, he was one of a group of young photographers, “The Paris Mob”, who reacted against the high seriousness of fashion photography of the time in favour of informal, upbeat and spontaneous images. The qualities he looked for were in his words “expression, emotion, something alive” and it was this approach which brought him inevitably to the attention of Alexander Lieberman, creative director of Vogue, who recognised a warmth in the more casual quality of his photographs, which reflected what he described as “the sense of purpose in a modern woman’s life”. Only a few years later by 1974, Demarchelier was working for American Vogue and the year after he moved to Manhattan, where he continued to live until his passing.
Over the period of his career, the way photography is regarded and understood has changed enormously and few would have predicted 40 or even 30 years ago the extent to which it has become such an enormous part of everyone’s lives across the world with the advent of the smart phone. It is important to remember that Demarchelier’ work mostly predates the age of digital proliferation. His work is based in a world of reality, stillness and precision. When he started the idea that fashion photography might be worthy of gallery or museum exhibition would have been remote. It was thus not until 1995 that he had his first gallery exhibition, by which time he was regarded not only as a fashion photographer but a distinguished portrait artist.
The Atlas Gallery exhibition includes many of Demarchelier’s most well known works. Nude. St. Barthelmy, 1989, Christy, New York 1990 and Princess Diana, 1990 are notable examples. The prints are exquisitely printed and mounted in a style reminiscent of Irving Penn’s printing and mounting processes and all bear the official Patrick Demarchelier stamp and are signed and editioned. The majority of the works on show are from his fashion images taken mostly between the early 1980’s to late 2000’s a period which largely established Demarchelier as one of the great masters of the art of photography in modern times.