Hamiltons Gallery excited to present, Mostly Nude, which brings together artists from our programme such as Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Erwin Olaf, Irving Penn, Jeanloup Sieff, Horst P. Horst, Daido Moriyama and Annie Leibovitz.
Mostly Nude explores the female body, a traditional theme at the cornerstone of art history, and various artists who have challenged societal and artistic norms, and embraced the changing perceptions of beauty, the female form and femininity while engaging in historical presidents.
Depictions of the female form were forever transformed in photography by Horst P. Horst’s radical compositions influenced by Romanticism and Surrealism. Conversely, it was through the exploration of the female nude that Bill Brandt began to experiment with the revolutionarily abstract, fragmented and formally ambiguous compositions for which he became best known.
Helmut Newton revolutionized fashion photography by capturing independent women, shown in command, and, in some cases, obviously defying gender roles through dress. Newton took fashion photography out of the studio and was able to explore the human condition in its natural element. Much like the similarly displaced female nude in Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, Newton’s nudes confront the history of sexual objectification by calling into question the viewers own voyeuristic gaze.
In the midst of the milieu of high fashion and its models, Irving Penn longed to shoot different body types resulting in the uniquely beautiful Nude No. 150, which belongs to a series whose subjects he recalled were more comfortable in their skin. Similarly, Tomio Seike preferred to use ordinary people, “as you see them everyday” over models and well known people when photographing nudes.
In the exhibition works by artists such as Bettina Rheims and Erwin Olaf subvert classical traditions through their examination of body image, gender and age, while Annie Leibovitz’s Georgia O’Keeffe Pastels shows an intimate portrait of her idol by focusing on the tools of O’Keeffe’s celebrated creative output, rather than her physical body.
Mostly Nude gathers pioneers from 20th century photography, modern masters and contemporary artists, in an exhibition that celebrates the excellence of the medium that has accompanied Hamiltons Gallery in its 40 year history.