HERBERT LIST: Young Men & Still Lifes

HERBERT LIST: Young Men & Still Lifes

 

 

 
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Young Men & Still Lifes by German photographer, Herbert List — The first exhibition of his legendary homoerotic male nudes in Los Angeles in over 25 years. List’s playful but austere, classically arranged compositions taken in Italy and Greece have become an indelible influence in modern and contemporary photography. Diary-like images of friends and still lives with found objects gave birth to a style that half a century later would influence fashion or lifestyle photography of masters like Bruce Weber or Herb Ritts.
 
Herbert List (1903 -1975) was born into a prosperous Hamburg merchant family and began an apprenticeship at a Heidelberg coffee dealer in 1921 while studying literature and art history at Heidelberg University. During travels for the coffee business between 1924-28, the young List began to take photographs, almost without any pretensions to art.
 
In 1930, though, his artistic leanings and connections to the European avant-garde brought him together with the American photographer Andreas Feininger, who introduced his new friend to the Rolleiflex, a more sophisticated camera that allowed a deliberate composition of images. Under the dual influence of the surrealist movement on the one hand, and of Bauhaus artists on the other, List photographed still life and his friends, developing his style. He has described his images as “composed visions where [my] arrangements try to capture the magical essence inhabiting and animating the world of appearances.”
 
After leaving Germany in 1936 in response to the danger of Nazi police attention to his openly gay lifestyle and his Jewish heritage, he turned his hobby into a profession. Working in Paris and London, he met George Hoyningen-Huene, who referred him to “Harper’s Bazaar”. Dissatisfied with the challenges of fashion photography and hired models, List instead focused on composing still lifes. The images produced there would later be compared to the paintings of Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico, and paved the way for List’s role as the most prominent photographer of the Fotografia Metafisica style.
 
Greece became List’s primary interest from 1937 to 1939. After his first visit to the antique temples, sculptures and landscapes, his first solo show opened in Paris in the summer of 1937. Publications in Life, Photographie, Verve and Harper’s Bazaar followed, and List began work on his first book, Licht über Hellas, which wasn’t published until 1953.
 
Working in Athens, List hoped to escape the war but was forced by invading troops to return to Germany in 1941. Because of his Jewish background, he was forbidden to publish or work officially in Germany. Several works, stored in a hotel in Paris, have been lost. In 1944 List was deployed by the German Wehrmacht to Norway where he served as a map archivist.
 
In 1951, List met Robert Capa, who convinced him to work as a contributor to Magnum. He turned his interest towards Italy from 1950 to 1961, photographing everything from street scenes to contemplative photo-essays, from architectural views to portraits of international artists living in Italy. He discovered the 35mm camera and the telephoto lens in 1953. His work became more spontaneous and was influenced by his Magnum colleague Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Italian Neo-Realism film movement.
 
Herbert List, Young Men & Still Lifes
June 27 through August 31, 2019
Opening Reception
May 27, 7 – 9pm
148 North La Brea Avenue
90036

At the Skirball

At the Skirball

Los Angeles fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985) introduced the “monokini,” the thong, unisex caftans, pantsuits for women, and enough inventive clothing to earn him a worldwide reputation. Yet Gernreich was far more than one of the most prominent designers of his time—his clothing was fearless. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich explores the visionary and progressive ensembles that transcended rigid social expectations and championed authenticity above all.

Gernreich, a Viennese Jew, immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1938, fleeing the oppressive and anti-Semitic Nazi regime. Beginning with his life in Los Angeles, the exhibition examines the circumstances that enabled Gernreich to grow into a trailblazing designer—from his early career as a dancer for the Lester Horton Dance Theater to his role as a founding member of The Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization. It shows how Gernreich dovetailed his personal background with his design vision to champion freedom of expression through his work.

The exhibition features over eighty Gernreich ensembles, along with accessories, original sketches, photographs, ephemera, and newly filmed interviews of friends and colleagues. All mannequins for this exhibition were custom produced with flat feet—a deviation from industry standard. Flat feet were a design feature Gernreich emphasized, dressing his models barefoot or in sensible short-heeled or flat shoes. Illustrating how Gernreich challenged conventional notions of beauty, identity, and gender, Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich reveals how the designer redefined style in ways that continue to influence fashion today.

THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
The Skirball Cultural Center is an educational institution in Los Angeles, California devoted to sustaining Jewish heritage and American democratic ideals. It has been open to the public since 1996.
 
Address: 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

We are looking for talent—photographic talent—portfolios with great stories, great images.
To submit please email: [email protected]


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