PARTING SHOTS: Four months after Peter Lindbergh’s death, an exhibition that he curated last year will be unveiled in Düsseldorf, Germany, next month.
Lindbergh, whose fashion portfolio included Dior, Louis Vuitton and the Pirelli calendar, among others, died at the age of 74 in September. The upcoming show of 140 works, “Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories,” will open with a private viewing for the photographer’s friends and family on Feb. 4. The event will be held at Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast art museum and the exhibition will be on view through June 1. Lindbergh’s longtime colleague Thoai Niradeth said, “It will be a rather classic, simple opening, as per our usual ‘Lindbergh standards’ with no red carpet or particular ceremony or tribute, apart from the impressive selection of works hand-picked by Peter himself.”
A 1988 portrait of Michaela Bercu, Linda Evangelista and Kirsten Owen dressed as nuns, a 1997 nude photograph of Karen Elson and a 2012 photograph of Querelle Jansen are among the images that will be shown. “Untold Stories” is the first survey exhibition that was curated by Lindbergh himself. Guests at next month’s event will be welcomed by director general Felix Kramer, and Düsseldorf’s mayor Thomas Geisel will offer his greetings. Another speaker will be Bastian Schramm, director of marketing for Porsche Deutschland GmbH, a sponsor for “Untold Stories.” In an interview Lindbergh did last year for the Taschen-published catalogue, he said, “The first time I saw my photographs on the walls of the exhibition mock-up, I was startled, but in a positive way. It was overwhelming to be thus confronted with who I am.”
Lindbergh had an interesting take on his preferred medium. “The exhibition allowed me to reconsider my images in a non-fashion context. The presentation aims to open the photographs to different interpretations and perspectives. However, I don’t try to claim that my pictures aren’t fashion photographs. That wouldn’t be true either. I insist on the definition ‘fashion photograph,” because for me that term doesn’t mean thatone has to depict fashion. Photography is much bigger than fashion. It is part of the contemporary culture.” he said in the Taschen-published catalogue.
The Polish-born photographer has a long history with Germany, having spent his childhood in Duisburg. After working as a window dresser and studying at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts in the early Sixties, he then spent a year living in Arles, France, before hitchhiking through Spain and North Africa. In 1971, Lindbergh moved to Düsseldorf to focus on photography, working for two years as an assistant to German photographer Hans Lux, before opening his own studio in 1973. As Lindbergh established himself in his native country, he joined the Stern magazine family along with fellow lensmen Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and Hans Feurer. Five years later he moved to Paris to start the next chapter of his career. In the decades that followed, he worked with numerous brands and fashion magazines like American Vogue, W and British Vogue.
Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford were among the friends who attended a memorial in Lindbergh’s honor in Paris last fall at the Saint-Sulpice church. Following his death last fall, the Duchess of Sussex, who worked with him on several occasions including when she guest-edited British Vogue, was among the many fans who paid tribute to him on social media. Filmmaker Wim Wenders wrote a tribute for his friend Lindbergh in Taschen’s “Untold Stories” publication.
Lindbergh’s work will not be the only fashion-rooted one at the Düsseldorf art museum. “Pierre Cardin. Fashion Futurist” bowed there Sunday and it will run through Sept. 19.