Fragment of the June, 1940 issue of “Harper's Bazaar”
Alexey Brodovitch's exhibition at Moscow's “Garage”
Brodovitch: From Diaghilev to Harper's Bazaar Center for Contemporary Culture, Garage (ГАРАЖ), Moscow 26 October – 25 November, 2011
Alexey Brodovitch (Алексей Бродович, 1898–1971) was a photographer and graphic designer of Russian descent. From the 1930's to the 50's, he was the artistic director of the American fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar. Brodovitch was a pioneer in graphic design – he created the prototype for today's “glossy” fashion magazines. In the 1930's, Brodovitch revolutionized the world of periodical publications by changing the accepted notions on the relationship between text and images in magazine spreads. Brodovitch was also a trailblazer in commercial and fashion photography, alongside such well-known photographers as Irving Penn (USA, 1917-2009) and Richard Avedon (USA, 1923-2004).
After WWI, Brodovitch came to Paris, where he began to work with the Russian art critic, patron and ballet impresario, Sergei Diaghilev (Серге́й Па́влович Дя́гилев, 1872–1929); Brodovitch painted backdrops for the Ballets Russes. At the same time, Brodovitch took pictures and worked with graphic design sketches, eventually expanding his field of work into designing textiles and jewelry. In 1934, he was offered the position of artistic director of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, in New York. Working in this capacity until 1958, Brodovitch invited many of his friends to work on the magazine: Salavador Dali, Marc Chagall, Juan Miro, Jean Cocteau, the poster and printing master, Adolphe Cassandre, as well as the photographer, Man Ray. Concurrently, Brodovitch created the Design Laboratory – a workshop which was attended my numerous American designers and photographers.
“Brodovitch: From Daghilev to “Harper's Bazaar”” is the first exhibition in Russia that will be devoted solely to Alexey Brodovitch. The exhibition will feature the artist's/designer's creations in the magazine, experimental graphic sketches, photographs from his book, “ Ballet” – a series of ballet images taken in New York in the 20's and 30's, as well as portraits of Brodovitch himself, captured by such famous photographers as Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Arnold Newman. Various documentary objects – letters, photographs, videos, and materials from lectures and interviews, will also be on view.