2nd February - 18th March 2018
Proud Galleries is pleased to present ‘Sixties Style: Shot by Duffy’, an exhibition celebrating the bold appearances that defined London’s vibrant ‘Swinging Sixties’. Recognised for his exemplary collaborations with David Bowie, photographer Brian Duffy’s wider practice recorded modern Britain, exploring the youth-driven cultural shift within art, music and fashion. This diverse collection of photographs, many unpublished since the 1960s, encompasses fashion editorials, celebrity portraiture and international advertising campaigns as Duffy captured the lifestyle trends of this momentous decade.
In 1959 Duffy began working as a commercial photographer when he shot his first commission for The Sunday Times, a prestigious moment which launched his artistic career. He was selected to shoot editorials for British Vogue and worked closely with Jean Shrimpton and Paulene Stone, supermodels that became synonymous with ‘the face of the sixties’ and redefined fashionable style in glossy magazines. Alongside his contemporaries David Bailey and Terrence Donovan, Duffy became known and respected as a member of “The Terrible Trio”, the new elite of fashion photography. Equally rebellious and provocative, renowned fashion photographer Norman Parkinson described them as “The Black Trinity” for the few rules the group operated by, and the many they broke.
Through Duffy’s commercial work, his archive documented evolving identity politics and explored the new set of feminine ideals that were influenced by the supermodels he shot. Many fashion traditions were disrupted in the 1960’s, a transformation which mirrored the social movements of the time. The depiction of ‘The Single Girl’ was of a sharp contrast to the way the models of the 1920’s were represented, carefully posed and immobile within constructed portraits. Duffy captured ‘The Single Girl’, symbolising young, energetic and independent movement.
This expressive development in commercial photography pushed Duffy to work in and out of a traditional studio, traversing international locations with his subjects to capture the necessary shot. Stylistically experimental, his considered approach to line, shape and perspective added surrealist elements to each photograph. From Jean Shrimpton to Grace Coddington, Michael Caine to David Bowie, Duffy captured each personality with a playful and commanding duality, challenging the typical notions of a studio portrait.
After an exceptional career taking some of the most iconic pictures of a generation, Duffy became frustrated by the industry and his work as a photographer, and in 1979 abruptly retired, rebelliously burning a large number of his negatives in a backyard fire. In 2010, Duffy died at the age of 76, leaving behind a small number of signed works, many on view within this exhibition. What negatives remained formed The Duffy Archive, a comprehensive history of twenty five years of British culture and fashion.
32 John Adam Street
22nd March - 6th May 2018
Proud Galleries is delighted to present ‘Life with the Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw’, an exhibition of historic photographs of the Kennedy family by noted LIFE photojournalist and film-maker Mark Shaw. Within this poignant collection, Shaw chronicles the golden years of the Kennedy family as John F. Kennedy progressed from the role of Senator to his early presidency. The exhibition marks the 55th anniversary of JFK’s harrowing assassination, shining a new light onto America’s most loved First Family before the tragic events that followed.
Mark Shaw began his professional photographic career in New York City, capturing the notable celebrities of the 1950’s for Harper’s Bazaar and other major fashion publications. He built a reputation as a fashion and portrait photographer and freelanced for LIFE, shooting over 27 covers and more than 100 stories during his time at the magazine. Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot were just a number of distinguished figures Shaw captured within his short yet remarkable career.
In 1959, Shaw was commissioned to shoot what would become his most memorable photographs; intimate portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy as her husband Senator John F. Kennedy was running his Presidential campaign. Over time he built a strong rapport with the family and became entrusted as the Kennedys’ unofficial photographer. Shaw documented ‘The American Royals’ at the White House and at their holiday home in Hyannis Port, producing his much loved photographs of the family in both official and candid settings. His close friendship revealed an unparalleled insight into their intriguing domestic life.
The exhibition includes JFK’s favourite portrait of himself, an introspective image of John wistfully walking into the landscape with his back turned, amongst other depictions of self-reflectivity. These quiet moments are contrasted with loving connections between mother and child, regal portraits of the celebrated couple and a playful image of Jackie leaning out of the family sailing boat clutching Shaw’s camera. The settings of Shaw's pictures vary from vacation retreats to the White House, but in each photograph the sense of optimism in the American Dream is present.
Following JFK’s assassination in 1963, Mark Shaw distanced himself from photography, affected deeply by the loss of his close friend. When Shaw unexpectedly passed away at the age of 47, the majority of his works were placed into storage and remained unseen for over 40 years. In 1996, Shaw’s son David and his wife Juliet founded The Mark Shaw Photographic Archive and his pictures were re-introduced to a new audience in The Kennedys: Photographs by Mark Shaw photobook. The collection has since become a lasting tribute to the work of Mark Shaw, encapsulating the memories and experiences of his close relationship with The Kennedys at a pivotal moment in American history.
32 John Adam Street
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