Exhibition "Brodovitch: From Diaghilev to Harper’s Bazaar" is organized by
Harper’s Bazaar magazine and Garage Center for Contemporary Culture and
confined to the 15th anniversary of Harper`s Bazaar in Russia.
Alexey Brodovitch (1898–1971) is a pioneer of graphic design who invented a
prototype of today's fashion magazines. In the early 1930s, Brodovitch made a
revolution in the world of magazines by integrating images with text on the
pages of Harper’s Bazaar. Brodovitch can be rightfully considered as the father
of advertising and fashion photography and the tutor of photographers Irving
Penn and Richard Avedon.
A Russian born, Brodovitch joined the first wave of immigrants and started his
career as a decorator in Sergey Diaghilev's theater in Paris. His job was not
just to create posters and decorations for the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He
also took photos of artists behind the stage during rehearsals and try-ins. His
first success in design was a prize at poster contest for charitable ball
party: the young artist from Russia took the Grand Prix hustling away nobody
but Pablo Picasso.
In 1934, Alexey Brodovitch accepted an offer to take the office of Harper’s
Bazaar art director in New York and stayed there for several decades – till
1958. In America, he introduced a brand new minimalist style emerged in Europe
in 1920s under the influence of avant-garde movements and art deco style in
industrial design. Upon Brodovitch initiative, Harper’s Bazaar collaborated
with his friends Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miró, Jean
Cocteau, the master of posters and type designer Adolf Kassandr, photographer
Man Ray, and many others. Besides, Brodovitch founded a network of Design
Laboratories which offer a truly invaluable apprenticeship for design people,
the alma mater for many American designers and photographers.
Exhibition "Brodovitch: From Diaghilev to Harper’s Bazaar" at Garage Center for
Contemporary Culture is the first time the oeuvre of Alexey Brodovitch is
exhibited in Russia. Surprisingly, the works of this graphic design
trend-setter have never been exposed in Russia in full scale.
This exposition in many ways resembles Hommage à Alexey Brodovitch at Grand
Palais of Paris in 1982. It is a unique chance to observe Harper’s Bazaar
covers and examples of graphic experiments Brodovitch practiced on the
magazine's pages; series of Ballet photographs made during the tour of Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo in New York and performances of American ballet companies
in the mid 1930s; portraits of Brodovitch shot by Richard Avedon, Henri
Cartier-Bresson, Arnold Newman, as well as personal letters, photo and video
materials of lectures and interviews which give an idea of Brodovitch's
teaching practice. The audience will also have an opportunity to learn more
about the history of visual aesthetics at Harper’s Bazaar from its very
beginning. It should be noted that many materials of the Brodovitch's art
heritage are irrevocably lost: during the life of the designer his residence
place suffered from fire three times which ended up with destruction of
considerable part of his works. The contributors of the exhibition are the
Richard Avedon Foundation and the Graphic Design Archive of Rochester Institute
of Technology (USA).
Curator: Irina Meglinskaya, a gallery owner, expert in photography with over 10
years of tenure as photo director of Afisha magazine. Since 2010 and up to now
Irina is the head of photo office at Afisha Publishing House.
Co-curator: Roger Remington, professor of Rochester Institute of Technology,
expert in design history, theory, and methodology, a lecturer, the author of
books on the history of design, the curator of Hommage à Alexey Brodovitch in