Emperor's heads to be cleaned © Deborah Turbeville
Broken statues from the storage rooms of the Louvre to be repaired © Deborah Turbeville
Female statues © Deborah Turbeville
Covered furniture from the small apartments of Madame du Barry © Deborah Turbeville
Female figure lying on the bed in the small apartments of Marie Antoinette © Deborah Turbeville
Overview of the formal gardens of Versailles © Deborah Turbeville
For the Mois de la Photo 2012, the Galerie Serge Aboukrat, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près, will exhibit the work of the American photographer Deborah Turbeville, who has been absent from the Paris arts scene for far too long. For the occasion, a collection of sixty pictures, Unseen Versailles, will be on display.
Although Turbeville is known mainly as a fashion photographer, her personal work is just as essential. She has developed a singular way to infuse her images with their own history, with halos of melancholy, romance and mystery. As a “lover of bygone time,” the photographer decided to “never try to be like others.” With Unseen Versaille, originally commissioned in 1980 by Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, with instructions to convey “the feeling that there are ghosts and memories,” Turbeville delivers a remarkable pictorialist work where her languishing models, , seem to ignore the space of their confinement.
In this highly personal and singular work, some will recognize signs of her mentor, Richard Avedon, or Edgar Degas, as David Hamilton points out with admiration.
Turbeville reworks her shots, artificially aging and damaging them with scratches, tape and pins, giving the illusion of age while, at the same time, making them more mysterious. Her compositions offer a literary vision of memory. Her characters are trapped in their loneliness, with exile eyes, hopelessly ignoring and refuting the past to better understand the present. Giving off an atmosphere imbued with eroticism, each photograph is an invitation to a refined journey, a “sadness from the past that extends into the future.”
Deborah Turbeville is an American fashion photographer. Born in 1938 in Boston, Massachusetts, at age 20 she left for New York, where she worked with the designer Claire McCardell. Working for magazines like Vogue in the 1970s, she left a mark on fashion photography with her strange, timeless stagings and the grain of her photographs, which resembled art photography. Today she lives between Mexico, New York, Paris and St. Petersburg, where she teaches photography.
« Unseen Versailles » de Deborah Turbeville
Du 17 octobre 2012 au 31 janvier 2013
Galerie Serge Aboukrat
7 place Furstemberg
75006 Paris - France