Lillian Bassman: Lingerie & Cracks


Lillian Bassman, Park Ave 84th to 90th frame#19, circa 1975
July 18 - September 5, 2009

On July 18, KMR Arts will open it latest exhibit, “Lillian Bassman: Lingerie & Cracks” Lillian Bassman (b.1917) is a living legend in the world of fashion photography. She worked as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before becoming an Art Director under the guidance of Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary creative director of Harper's Bazaar. She soon began to photograph assignments and became one of the more prolific photographers in the 1940's and 1950's. She photographed Paris couture and fashion stories for Harper's Bazaar and her advertising clients included Chanel, Warner's Lingerie, Balenciaga, among others. As fashion evolved in the 1960's and 1970's, Bassman's interest in pure form began to clash with the changing interests of the fashion industry, and she abandoned photography for painting, purging herself of forty years of work, and closing her studio. In the late 80's through a series of strange coincidences, her work was rediscovered and she began printing from some forgotten negatives that had resurfaced. Using a variety of darkroom techniques, Bassman began to manipulate the images, eliminating certain elements that she felt "dated" the images, resulting in contemporary editions of her work. In recent years, Bassman’s reinterpreted work has received renewed attention, with the publication of several portfolios in the New York Times Magazine, a campaign for Neiman Marcus, and the publication of her book, Lillian Bassman, Bulfinch, 1997. A new book, a monograph entitled Women, is to be published by Harry Abrams in the fall of 2009 as well as a retrospective museum show, opening November 26, 2009 at the Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg Germany. Bassman has also been honored internationally with a number of exhibitions and one-person shows worldwide, from New York, Milan, and Paris, to Spain, Germany, and London.