At this year's Photo London Atlas proposes a presentation offering works by legendary fashion photographer Lillian Bassman paired with those of the contemporary Dutch artist Bastiaan Woudt.
The protégé of Alexey Brodovitch, Bassman was a fashion photographer and art editor at Harper’s Bazaar in the 1950s – 1970s, renowned for her high contrast images of society women, actresses and models. Bassman’s later reworking of her early negatives in the 1990s established her as a modernising figure in fashion photography. A selection of photographs from both periods of her career will be on display.
Bassman’s work was significant in emphasising the power of elegance, mystery and gesture in fashion. Her prints, developed in high contrast and carefully over-exposed, are abstract, luminous, soft yet captivatingly dramatic. The models become silhouettes, consumed by blankets of light and darkness; only the curve of an eye in profile, the gentle sweep of a jawline or a tiny nose peeping out from under a large hat give any indication of their features.
A similar dramatic approach to black and white in also Bastiaan Woudt's signature style– abstract yet sharp, with a strong focus on detail. Woudt has seen a meteoric rise within the world of contemporary photography, after taking on photography only five years ago with no experience or formal training. Woudt has a strong preference for classic subjects, such as portraits and nudes, and references illustrious periods of photography throughout his work, from Surrealism to documentary photography of the 1960s and 70s. Through a sophisticated use of both camera and post-production techniques, he gives his own graphic and wholly contemporary twist to classical subjects.