Kronung des Chic, Jada, dress by Thierry Mugler, 1998
Barbara Mullen, New York, c. 1958 / reinterpreted 1994
Lillian Bassman (1917-2012) began her career in fashion photography assisting the great Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch. She was an accomplished darkroom technician who honed her skills on her lunch hours developing images for George Hoyningen-Huene, using bleach and selective focus to manipulate the prints. In 1946 she began taking her own photographs, and in 1947 Harper’s published Bassman’s first picture...
As the art director of Junior Bazaar, a short-lived Harper's Bazaar spin-off, Lillian Bassman spent the early 40's working with photography greats like Robert Frank and Richard Avedon. Then she decided to pick up the camera herself. Soon, it was Bassman's own images appearing in the pages of Bazaar—carefully blurred, fashion-focused silhouettes that John Galliano once described as possessed of "painterly strokes of light." Though she did lose a bit of fire at one point—Bassman destroyed decades' worth of prints and negatives in the 70's, even debating abandoning the medium—she stuck with her instantly recognizable black-and-white photography, shooting Galliano's designs up into the 90's, even toying around with digital before she died in 2012. Take a look back at her career through some her most memorable pictures, up now at New York's Edwynn Houk Gallery through July 8th, here.
To view the slideshow, please visit W Magazine
In the early 1970s, after decades as a successful fashion photographer, Lillian Bassman got fed up. Disillusioned by the direction that commercial fashion imagery was headed, she stopped taking assignments and even destroyed most of her negatives and prints—which now seems like a bizarre act of a mad artist.
To read the full article by Jack Crager, please visit American Photo
IN ANOTHER LIGHT: The artistically haunting fashion photography of Lillian Bassman will be spotlighted at the Edwynn Houk Gallery in a new exhibition that opens May 12.
To read the full article by Rosemary Feitelberg, please visit WWD