Horst P. Horst work york photographers

Horst P. Horst /   Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann

Germany 1906 - 1999



Horst P. Horst
Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann
February 27, 2016
Music, Gestalt, .

Regardless of the artistic direction, any artist can be attributed with the desire to become a legend within an area of expertise. It becomes increasingly hard to do so in the contemporary art world, with so much competition, the level of skill needed to assume such a position, and the areas already covered in the past. However, completing all of these feats seemed like a breeze for the German-American photographer Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann, otherwise known as Horst P. Horst. Widely known for his photos of women and fashion, his legendary name became a synonym for style, glamour and elegance. Within a sixty year long career, Horst had created a rich and sophisticated opus that left a permanent and one of the most significant marks on the fashion photography of the 20th century.

Horst was and still is widely known for his photos of women and fashion

Horst P. Horst new work york home contact 2016 photographers life corset american 1939
Left: Veruschka Von Lehndorff, 1960s / Right: Zoli Models, 1985. Photographed by Horst P. Horst

The Man Behind Vogue Photos

The early years of Horst P. Horst were marked by his interest in the avant-garde art, and he spent the late 1920s studying at Hamburg Kunstgewerbeschule, the school of arts and crafts, leaving it in 1930 in order to study under the architect Le Corbusier in Paris. His artistic inclination led him to visit many of Paris’ galleries and exhibitions, eventually meeting Baron George Hoyningen-Huene who was a Vogue photographer. After their visit to Cecil Beaton, working at the time for the British edition of the magazine, Horst’s partnership with Vogue had begun, and it would last for six decades.

Although he was a new edition to the magazine, he was quickly set apart from other leading photographs by using a very specific style that would prove to be his trademark. He was very particular and careful about the preparations for the shoot; using four spotlights on his models to make them stand out of the usually plain background, as well as a large number of other props, made him stand out in the world of fashion photography of 20th century. He kept working for Vogue throughout his long career, making monumental photographs that are used to this day as examples of brilliant photography. He made his last photo for British Vogue in 1991.

Horst used four spotlights on his models to make them stand out of the plain background

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Left: Helen Bennett, 1936 / Middle: Mainbocher Corset, 1939 / Right: Marlene Dietrich, 1942. Photographed by Horst P. Horst

An Eye for Universal Beauty

Although Horst’s career is marked by his photos of women and fashion, he has done a variety of photos of interior architecture and still life, including plants and environmental portraits, most likely influenced by his architecture scholarship days. Horst’s first lifestyle house and interior photograph came in 1952, and encouraged by Diana Vreeland, he made a number of these and continued making them in the 1980s. In 1983, Barbara Plumb had collected and documented them in a book titled Horst: Interiors. Vogue had also published a book of his interior design photographs in 1965; titled Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens, People, it displays Horst’s images of houses and people who were wealthy and influential at the time, proving his value as an artist.

Proving his value as an artist, Horst also created images of interior design

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Horst directing fashion shoot with Lisa Fonssagrives (detail), 1949. Photo credit vam.ac.uk

A Royal Photographer

The photographic skills of Horst P. Horst were heard of far and wide, and they were put to the test by many celebrities, even in his early days as a photographer. Horst became famous right after his first exhibition that took place at La Plume d’Or in Paris in 1932; the same year, he was assigned to make a portrait of Bette Davis, seen as one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood history. Fame followed, and within the next two years, he had photographed a dozen of famous personas of the time, including Yvonne Printemps, Lisa Fonssagrives, Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley, Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, and others. His portraiture drew the eye of the United States President, and in 1945 Horst had the pleasure of photographing Harry S. Truman with whom he became friends, and has thus photographed every First Lady in the post-war period.

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Left: Horst P. Horst – Round the Clock, 1987 / Right: Horst P. Horst – Male Nude, 1952. Photo credits vam.ac.uk

The Legacy of Horst P. Horst

Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann received the United States citizenship in 1943 and has been known as Horst P. Horst ever since. His extensive photographic output never lacked in quality, and the subjects behind his lens always portrayed a certain mystery, elegance and allure. Both his name and his photos evoke prestige and artistic perfection to this day, and the attention he received during his career was well justified. Host managed to portray his subjects so well that his works are today used as a mold not just for photography, but for fashion as well. By capturing the moment truly and completely, Horst P. Horst found his way into the artistic history.

The artist is represented by the Hamiltons Gallery.

Horst died in 1999 aged 93, while at home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA.

Featured image: Horst P. Horst. Photo credits flashofgold.com
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery MuseumSolo/Group
2016BOOTH D9 - Sélection Paris PhotoBernheimer, LucerneGroup
2016ImprintArt Gallery of New South WalesGroup
2016Horst P. Horst: ColorRobert Klein GallerySolo
2015Women in ClothesRobert Klein GalleryGroup
2015The Lens Gazes Back: Reflections in Black and White on Classic BeautyHolden Luntz GalleryGroup
2015Horst: Photographer of StyleMcCord Museum of Canadian HistorySolo
2015Adventures in Photography: Gifts from Harvey S. Shipley MillerPhiladelphia Museum of ArtGroup
2014Horst P. Horst - Fashion in ColorBernheimer, MunichSolo
2014Vintage HorstHamiltonsSolo
2014Horst: Photographer of StyleVictoria and Albert MuseumSolo
2014Patrick Kelly: Runway of LovePhiladelphia Museum of ArtGroup
2014The Chanel LegendMuseum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG)Group
2013Vanity Fashion Photography from the F.C. Gundlach CollectionNational Museum in KrakowGroup
2012Icons of Fashion and Beauty , Bernheimer Fine Art Photography Munich Group
2012Poetic Renaissance , Luxembourg ,Galerie ClairefontaineGroup
2012Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker , Beijing ,UCCA - Ullens Center for Contemporary ArtGroup
2012The Nude Interpreted , Staley-Wise Gallery New York CityGroup
2012Various Artists , Los Angeles, From Collectors' Archives - Fahey/Klein GalleryGroup
2011Celebrities & Fashion of the 20th Century Cologne , in focus GalerieGroup
2011Westlich Foto - & Kamrea Auktion , Vienna , WestLicht. Schauplatz für FotografieGroup
2011Vanity , Vienna ,Kunsthalle Wien (Museumsquartier)Group
2011Becoming: Photographs from the Collection of John and Ginny Soule Hamilton,Art Gallery of HamiltonGroup
2011The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture 1839 to Today - Kunsthaus ZürichGroup
2011Great Moments in Glamour Cologne , Museum LudwigGroup
2010Red Dior , Halle (Saale) ,Kunstverein Talstrasse e.V.Group
2010Fotografien 2010 Stuttgart , Galerie Klaus Gerrit FrieseGroup
2010Foto- & Kamera - , Auktion Vienna- WestLicht. Schauplatz für FotografieGroup
201025 years/25 Works - New York City Wessel + O'Connor Fine ArtGroup
2010Nudes - Camera Work Berlin Group
2010Another Nude Show Santa Monica- Robert Berman GalleryGroup
2010Woman's Image Atlanta- Hagedorn Foundation GalleryGroup
2010Architecture of Fashion Palm Beach- Holden Luntz GalleryGroup
2010exposed - Aktfotografie des XX. Jahrhunderts Cologne - in focus GalerieGroup
2009Horst P. Horst Hamburg  - Flo Peters Gallery Group
2009Something for Everyone London (England) - Hamiltons GalleryGroup
2009I love Art 10 - The Fallen Angels Tokyo  - Watari-Um - Watari Museum of Contemporary ArtGroup
2009Fashion is Big Palm Beach- Holden Luntz GalleryGroup
2008Horst P. Horst - Photographs Los AngelesGroup
2008Herb Rítts & Horst P Horst Boston - Robert Klein GalleryGroup
2008Dalla Presitoria al Futuro. Capolavori dalla collezione Bischofsberger Turin - Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella AgnelliGroup
2008Mujeres en plural Madrid - Fundacion CanalGroup
2008Fashion - Camera Work Berlin Group
2008Fotógrafos da Vida Moderna São Paulo  - Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São PauloGroup
2008Gallery Selections London (England)- Hamiltons GalleryGroup
2007Horst P. Horst - Jackson Fine Art AtlantaGroup
2007Masterpieces Sils-Maria - Grieder Contemporary Sils-MariaGroup
2006Horst Centennial Shadow and Light New York City- Staley-Wise GalleryGroup
2006Platinum London (England)  - Hamiltons GalleryGroup
2006Horst P. Horst New York City- Stellan Holm GalleryGroup
2005Horst P. Horst - The selected works Moscow  - Aidan GalleryGroup
2005The World Of H.p. Horst Moscow- Moscow House of PhotographyGroup
2001Untitled London, National Portrait Gallery Group
2000Horst Form London, at Hamiltons Gallerysolo
2000The Male Form Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art,Brooklynsolo
1999Horst.P.Horst London, at Hamiltons Gallerysolo
1985Das Aktfoto Fotomuseum im StadtmuseumGroup
1984Untitled New York (retrospective; travelled to Montreal International Center of Photographysolo
1984Untitled New York-Staley Wise Gallery, solo
1982Untitled New York -Staley Wise Gallerysolo
1982Lichtbildnisse: Das Portrat in der Fotografie Rheinisches landesmuseum, BonnGroup
1982Color As Form International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New YorkGroup
1981Untitled Brussels -Galerie Contretypesolo
1980Untitled New York -Sonnabend Gallerysolo
1980La Mode Galerie Zabriskie, ParisGroup
1980Allure International Center of Photography , New YorkGroup
1979Fleeting Gestures:: Dance Photography, International Center of PhotographyNew York (travelled to The Photographers Gallery, London and Venezia '79)Group
1979The Fashionable World, Stephen White Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1978UntitledGalerie Sonnabend, Paris Solo
1977UntitledSonnabend Gallery, New YorkSolo
1976UntitledSonnabend Gallery, New YorkSolo
1975UntitledFashion 1900-1939, Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonGroup
1974UntitledSonnabend Gallery, New YorkSolo
1958UntitledSagittarius Gallery, New YorkSolo
1938UntitledGerman Seligman Gallery, New YorkSolo
1932UntitledGalerie La Plume d'Or, ParisSolo