Herb Ritts
In Piena Luce – In Full Light

Herb Ritts.
Stephanie with Flower. Los Angeles, 1989.
© Herb Ritts Foundation Herb Ritts.
Tatjana Veiled Head (Tight View). Joshua Tree, 1988.
© Herb Ritts Foundation Herb Ritts.
Madonna (True Blue Profile). Hollywood, 1986.
© Herb Ritts Foundation Herb Ritts.
Waterfall IV. Hollywood, 1988.
© Herb Ritts Foundation Herb Ritts.
Alek Wek. Los Angeles, 1998.
© Herb Ritts Foundation Herb Ritts.
Backflip. Paradise Cove, 1987.
© Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Stephanie with Flower. Los Angeles, 1989. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Tatjana Veiled Head (Tight View). Joshua Tree, 1988. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Madonna (True Blue Profile). Hollywood, 1986. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Waterfall IV. Hollywood, 1988. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Alek Wek. Los Angeles, 1998. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts. Backflip. Paradise Cove, 1987. © Herb Ritts Foundation

Moscow, 19.V.2015—30.VIII.2015

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Curator: Alessandra Mauro

Curator: Alessandra Mauro

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Creator of the most vivid, dreamy and perfect images of Hollywood stars, Herb Ritts has been a great interpreter of international photography. His are many portraits that have indeed built the image of celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Richard Gere. His are dreamlike fashion photographs in which shining Versace dresses and perfect bodies of models are immersed in an intense and nebulous light.

In Full Light is an exceptional retrospective of Herb Ritts’ images. It presents some of his most famous photographs, as well as others that have never been shown, coming from the Herb Ritts Foundation in Los Angeles. On display, there are more than 100 exquisite photographs in different sizes: from impressive platinum prints to a series of medium-size gelatin silver prints and amazing blow-ups. There are celebrated portraits, fashion photographs, Ritts’ work on the human body, extraordinary images of California, and his outstanding reportage on Africa.

Herb Ritt’s style is unmistakable, nourished by an intense gaze — an idealizing gaze — that always arrives at the right moment. A sensitive and cultured man, passionate about art and history of photography, Ritts studied classical compositions and the plasticity of the dialogue between figures in Renaissance art, as well as in the photography of the early twentieth century.

Captivated by the formal rigor of the German photographer Herbert List (his fundamental inspirer for numerous images), Ritts sought to understand the mystery that lies beneath those perfect compositions of light and volume that, often distractely and frivolously, are simply called «fashion photographs.»

How to recreate on photographic paper the silky touch of a shimmering fabric? How to maintain the magical aura of pleasure emanated by an haute couture dress? How to relate the sultry air of a sunny day to the wind, the desert sand, a model’s skin? All the images invented by Ritt’s imagination and professionalism stem from his work on these themes and from the possibility to find continuously fresh solutions and responses for every image.

His eye fed on natural elements — the wind, light and landscape of California, the horizon stretching as far as the eye can see, the immense spaces — that entered each of his photos. The result is a precious and rare combination, ingenious yet simple, of all these ingredients.

Like his work on statuesque nudes and on African atmospheres, Ritts’ portraits also seem inimitable, each one the result of a deep understanding, an intellectual affinity, often even a friendship. It was to him that Madonna turned for the construction of her multiform image and for the photo used on the cover of True Blue, her first successful album. Likewise, Liz Taylor, another of the photographer’s great friends, entrusted the fragility of her body to his camera: her white head, almost completely shaved after an operation for a brain tumor, defiantly fills the photo frame, elegantly silhouetted against the black background. Or again, the sinuous boy of Tina Turner, the gaze and glasses of William Burroughs, and Dizzy Gillespie’s balloon-like cheeks stretching across a white background...

In Ritts’ portraits there is no standard, no set formula. For each one, the photographer comes up with a simple and original invention, made to measure, brilliant and perfect. And for each one of them, exactly as happened for the five top models, he realized an autonomous creation.

Project presented by the Herb Ritts Foundation and Fondazione Forma, Milan

Herb Ritts Foundation Forma Foundation for Photography, Milan

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