(Art)Books we love | Horst: Photographer of Style

This #artbookfriday I have a really awesome book for you! I read it in preparation of my visit to Düsseldorf this Friday. I am going to see the big Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition at NRW-Forum. It’s pretty exciting because I am a big fan of his photography. The exhibition was first shown at V&A Museum in London 2014 and I am very happy it is now presented in Düsseldorf which is easier to visit than London for me. I will tell you more about it next week after I’ve seen it.

Horst P. Horst (1906-1999) was one of the star photographers of Vogue magazine at his times. Born in Germany he split his time between Paris and New York and became an American citizen in 1946. He created a very own style of staging people and interiors. The pictures are very different to the aesthetic we are used to today but they still carry the glamour of the old times. He made portraits of famous artists, actors and models and left his mark on the style of Vogue for a long time. And by Vogue I mean the American, English and French edition. The only contemporary photographer with the same amount of influence to fashion photography is Mario Testino if you ask me. Horst’s style can only be described with one word: elegance!

The book is a real coffee table edition, but not just a picture book. It starts with a foreword by curator Martin Roth, a remembrance text by Anne Wintour and an introduction by V&A curator Susanna Brown. There are ten chronological chapters about his life and work which are so extensive that I didn’t have the time to read all the texts yet. It’s so much information. I love it! It’s a shame when you get a retrospective catalogue and then there’re just images in there when there is so much to tell. This one is the exact opposite and that’s great. Of course there’re still plenty of his amazing pictures in there. It’s pure joy to read or look at this book. The appendix is also extensive you can find every single information about every single image in there. Most of them were made for Vogue magazines but there are also some which were never published before.

The book’s design is perfect. I really like the red hard cover with the picture of Muriel Maxwell which been a Vogue cover in the USA in 1939. It’s very iconic for his style. The title is imprinted on uncoated paper which makes the cover more elegant. The book is printed on glossy paper which is just perfect for photography and makes the images all shiny. It’s also a nice contrast to the cover material. The typography of the texts is well placed and very readable. I hate it when book designers choose a font which is all fancy but not readable at all. Especially when you have so many texts, but they made it perfect. The only fancy detail are the front pages of every chapter, they were printed in nice pastel colors – a very pretty detail I think.

So I can’t wait to read the rest of it and to see the exhibition next week. This book was the perfect preparation for it. And no matter if you’re planning to see it or not this book is a real fashion photography highlight.

The Book

Horst: Photographer of Style

Horst: Photographer of Style

Horst: Photographer of Style

#artbook | Horst: Photographer of Style

#author | Susanna Brown

#language | German

#publishing house | Knesebeck

#ISBN | 978-3-86873-946-6

#pages | 366

#published | 2016

you can get your copy here.

3 thoughts on “(Art)Books we love | Horst: Photographer of Style

  1. I believe Testino will be the last of that generation of hugely influential mainstream photographers. The switch to digital has made fashion photographers slaves to art directors and editors who now give instant feedback and stifle creativity. Occassionally blogs provide the outlet for new approaches but often new photographers fall into the trap of producing work that is derivative at best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be, but you never know. There defiantly is a big change in the industry, but people thought that a lot of times before and as I am a big believer in artists I think there will always be something new and incredible. What I found very interesting was a video I saw in the exhibition about the production at Vogue at the times of Horst. The chief director was always there during the shoots and gave direct feedback, too. He still could do his thing and Testino is the best example that it’s still possible today 😉


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