main exhibition June 14, 2024 - January 19, 2025
icons of photography

Richard Avedon & Herb Ritts

from black and white to color

From Black and White to Color Photography
Both Avedon and Ritts are known for their powerful black and white images, but they also worked with color photography, harnessing the potential of color to enhance their artistic visions.

Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants, evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955

Welcome to an exhibition of two iconic American photographers - RICHARD AVEDON & HERB RITTS

Richard Avedon was born on May 15, 1923 in New York City and grew up in a Jewish family in the Upper West Side neighborhood. He showed an early interest in photography and began taking pictures as a child. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Avedon began his career as a photographer at one of the most prestigious fashion magazines, Harper's Bazaar, where he quickly made a name for himself with his unique style and creative vision.
Herb Ritts was born on August 13, 1952 in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in an affluent family and studied business and art at Bard College. Ritts began his career as a photographer in the 1970s and quickly became known for his elegant and sculptural black-and-white portraits of celebrities and models. His style is characterized by a timeless aesthetic and an ability to capture the beauty of the human body in a way that is both powerful and sensitive.

From Black and White to Color Photography
Both Avedon and Ritts are known for their powerful black and white images, but they also worked with color photography, harnessing the potential of color to enhance their artistic visions.

Richard Avedon began his career at a time when black and white photography dominated both fashion and art photography. He used contrasts and shadows to create depth and drama in his images.
In the 1960s, he began experimenting with color, particularly in his fashion photographs for magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Avedon used color to create a new dynamic and vibrancy in his images, helping to redefine fashion photography

Herb Ritts is best known for his black and white images that highlight the shape and texture of the body, but he also created stunning color photographs.
He used color to bring out details and create a sense of presence and immediacy that is sometimes missing in black and white photography.
A famous example of his color work is his 1990s portrait of Naomi Campbell, where he uses color to accentuate her skin tone and the tropical surroundings, giving the image an added dimension of vibrancy and energy.
During the 1990s, Ritts also photographed at the famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. His images from this session combine the cold, blue tones of the ice hotel's interior with the warm, vibrant colors of the models and clothing, creating a unique contrast and a magical atmosphere.

Richard Avedon and Herb Ritts were not just photographers; they were storytellers who used their cameras to reveal the depth and complexity of their subjects. Their work continues to inspire and fascinate, and their impact on photography and visual culture is immeasurable. Through their lenses we catch a glimpse of the many faces of humanity, and their legacy lives on in every image they created, as does their global influence and timeless relevance.

 

Caption: Herb Ritts Absolut Versace | Marcus Schenkenberg - Absolut Vodka
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