The Lindbergh lens
Unique fashion storytelling that first launched the supermodels
When German photographer Peter Lindbergh shot five young models in downtown New York City in 1989, he produced not only the iconic British Vogue January 1990 cover but also the birth certificate of the supermodels. The image didn’t just bring revered faces together for the first time; it marked the beginning of a new fashion era and a new understanding of female beauty.
Coinciding with his major retrospective at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, this book gathers more than 400 images from four decades of Lindbergh’s photography to celebrate his unique and game changing storytelling. Raw and seductive at once, his trademark monochrome pictures are marked by a romantic and narrative vision which brought a new vision and artistry to the art and fashion world.
Considered a pioneer in photography, he introduced a form of new realism by redefining the standards of beauty with timeless images. Whether in single portraits or poetic compositions of figure and landscape, the imagery is inflected by cinematic language and by a play with female archetypes as his subjects adopt the guise of dancers, actresses, heroines, and femme fatales. At the same time, Lindbergh brings a humanist approach to photography, privileging natural and authentic beauty in an era of pervasive retouching, capturing spirit and personality as much as looks, and celebrating the elegance and sensuality of older women.
In a testimony to Lindbergh’s illustrious status in the fashion world, his images are contextualized by commentaries from collaborators such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford, and Anna Wintour, who chose Lindbergh to shoot her first US Vogue cover. Their tributes explain what makes Lindbergh’s images so unique and powerful.
Exhibition Peter Lindbergh. A Different History of Fashion at Kunsthal, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, September 10, 2016 – February 12, 2017
Text in English, French, and German