© ELLEN VON UNWERTH, NAOMI’S ROLLERS (NAOMI CAMPBELL), 2004
CWC GALLERY is pleased to present the group exhibition Supermodels – Then and Now. The self-curated exhibition shows more than 100 works of the best-known artists and a selection of outstanding fashion-, portrait and nude photography of the most famous supermodels of the last few decades.
According to Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a worldwide successful model needs to be able to inspire the designer and to represent his intention. In this way a model can obtain a special iconic status and her face can become an own brand. In art, the motif of a supermodel has developed into an international scheduled genre which brings up maximum prices in auctions. The CWC GALLERY appreciates this development with the group exhibition »Supermodels – Then and Now« and presents outstanding works of photographic history from the extensive collection of CAMERA WORK AG and partly never seen works of famous photo artists.
© Michel Comte, Carla Bruni, Paris, 1996
For five decades supermodels have been a great part of photographic art. They inspire artists such as muses. With their cooperation they create artwork which is a mirror of their time. Richard Avedon’s works of Twiggy or Veruschka illustrate the revolution of culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The same applies to works of Peter Lindbergh and Michel Comte from the late 1980s and early 1990s. On the other hand portraits of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Iman or Christy Turlington convey a new image of the understanding of supermodels. Until the mid-1990s the public attention towards famous supermodels had increased. They reached a kind of iconic status in the world of fashion. Instead of staging the models as unapproachable and flawless beautiful goddesses in advertising campaigns, artists such as Peter Lindbergh and Irving Penn show their natural beauty. Lindbergh’s intimate portrait of Berri Smithers or Penn’s natural nude of Amber Valetta present the beauty of the women and show the intimacy between the artist and the model. A special focus in the exhibition is on Kate Moss, whose portraits and nudes by Ellen von Unwerth, Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier or Albert Watson show the mutability of the model. Photo art helped creating Kate Moss as a global brand, whose « heroin chic » turned into a unique trend and influenced a whole era.
The group exhibition Supermodels – Then and Now is an exclusive selection of outstanding portraits of photo art of over five decades and a testament to the influence of supermodels on photo art. Among the exhibited works are also the world-famous work Mathilde on Eiffel Tower by Peter Lindbergh, in which fashion slides into the background to make room for the personality, as well as the sensual works of Paolo Roversi’s famous »Nudi« series, in which the artist uses his technique »drawing of light« to create a mysterious aura.
© Brian Duffy, Jean Shrimpton