Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Harry Goes To Paris


Just for three days. But time enough for art, shopping, dining, and good conversation.


My very urbane and charming host James suggested either the Richard Avedon or Annie Liebowitz exhibitions currently on in Paris.
I plumped for the Avedon. I had had a dose of Ms Liebowitz at the Vanity Fair show at London's National Portrait Gallery earlier in the year. There is only so much contrived celebration of celebrity one can take I feel.
The Avedon was splendid.Of course much of his early fashion work was located in 50's Paris. And very captivating it was. But the aesthetics and glamour of the fashion work were pleasingly juxtaposed against the later, mesmerising, portraits. Samuel Beckett in Paris, the Beatles caught in that moment when they were growing from boys to men. And the Monroe shot. How over-played and overused her image has become. But here was one I had not seen before, almost without artifice, finally looking like a real person.
In the last room there were just shots of real people. Some of the current dispossessed of the USA. A memorable show.
The only disappointment was that they had made the wrong choice in terms of the show poster. It's always good to finish a cultural expedition with some shopping.

2 comments:

indigo16 said...

I too would have gone for the Avedon.But do not dismiss the Liebowitz show, having had a peek at the catalogue in the NPG book shop, I was gobsmacked at how different and moving her more personal photos are. It will be on in London in the Autumn.

Harry Fenton said...

I may see the Liebowitz show when it comes to London. But I don't feel too comfortable with what I understand is the tension surrounding her photos of Susan Sontag's last days. I heard an interview with Sontag's son and he said that his mother did not want the photos to be shown publicly.