Friday, 2 March 2012

Late Fashion Photographer Lillian Bassman Discusses Those Heady Harper's Days..

Barbara Mullen Blowing Kiss © Harper's Bazaar / Lillian Bassman 1950

Fashion photographer Lillian Bassman, who died recently aged 94, is considered one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, producing iconic high contrast black-and-white fashion imagery from the 1940s through to the 1960s.

A contemporary of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, the majority of Bassman's work appeared in shoots for Harper's Bazaar, which she joined in 1950 after a stint as art director at Junior Bazaar, a short-lived spin-off of the main magazine. Under the guidance of art director Alexey Brodovitch, Bassman revolutionised Harper's layout and such was her popularity, she went on to shoot numerous fashion campaigns.
Bassman brought a sophisticated, new aesthetic to fashion photography with her elegant, moody, and often abstract images. Her work diverged from classic fashion photography in that she did not rely on beautiful models and clothes as the sole essence of her photographs. Her experimental and romantic visions revolutionised fashion photography. 

"Vanity Fair magazine singled her out as one of photography’s “grand masters. ‘Full of mystery, sensuality, and expressionistic glamour". (Peter Fetterman, Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles)

Watch the late artist reminisce about her days at Harper's, in what was to be one of her very last interviews:


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