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Philippe Garner

Guy Bourdin [...]

Guy Bourdin: The Formative Years -- Philippe Garner
Bourdin had a precocious talent and a focussed ambition. This essay from photo historian Philippe Garner draws together the range of the social and cultural influences and motivations that shaped his work. It places the young Bourdin in the post-war climate of Paris and defines the ideas and formal devices that Bourdin would explore throughout his life. --guybourdin.org via Google cache [Aug 2004]

Philippe Garner, a senior director at Sotheby's and a respected expert on fashion and commercial photography, says, "There had been nothing like him in the history of fashion photography. Irving Penn's work is infused with respect for women. There's a sexual element in Avedon, though there is a lot else going on, too. But what you see in Bourdin is the linking of two great themes, desire and death. That's what makes the work so disturbing. It's as if he hijacked the medium for his own personal uses. He can be as suffocatingly intimate as Diane Arbus - you feel you have to come up for air." --http://www.guybourdin.fsnet.co.uk/other_pages/newyorker_biog.html [Aug 2004]

Sixties Design (2001) - Philippe Garner

Sixties Design (2001) - Philippe Garner [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

During the decade many associate with the Beatles, hippies, and flower power, designers in Europe, Asia, and the Americas were fundamentally rethinking modernist principles. Sixties Design is a documentation and analysis of that era during which belief in modernist design began to crumble. As modernism--the foremost design mode of the 20th century--reached its golden years, it came to be considered by many an autocratic, almost fascistically impersonal movement that strove to raise the standards of large groups by ignoring the peccadilloes of individuals. At the same time, the modern era and its designers are responsible for remarkable innovations that have forever changed the way we live, work, and play. The book captures an interesting moment during which modernism and its refutations began to coexist.

Author Philippe Garner breaks the book up into five sections. In each he addresses a different aspect of the designed '60s, and his insights add dimension to the hundreds of illustrations. He makes connections between the cold war and Jane Fonda's erotic antics in a fur-lined spaceship from the movie Barbarella--with photo-documentation to boot--and he provides a startlingly lucid and economical analysis of Swedish modern furniture design in the context of minimalist principles and the craft revival. From Florence Knoll's office designs to Oscar Niemeyer's unparalleled "master plan" city, Brasilia; from Richard Avedon's fashion photography to Neal Armstrong's space walk, Sixties Design offers countless vistas from which to rethink a decade too long associated with paisleys and free love. --Loren E. Baldwin for Amazon.com

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