George Platt Lynes
Exhibition: March 1st through April 7th, 2012
Opening Reception: March 1st, 6-8 PM
Steven Kasher Gallery is pleased to present George Platt Lynes, an exhibition of over 40 vintage prints drawn from an important private collection. The exhibition includes major examples of nudes, portraits, ballet pictures and surreal images photographed by this American master between 1933 and 1953.
Extraordinarily, Lynes celebrated homosexuality in an era of harsh repression. Lynes’ nudes embody an intimacy unequaled in their time. They are the template and inspiration for the modern homoerotic photograph; Mapplethorpe, Weber and Ritts are unthinkable without Lynes.
Lynes’ portraits for Vogue and Bazaar remain amongst the most elegant in the modern canon. He is celebrated for the grace and inventiveness of the ballet images he made with George Balanchine, and for the psychological intensity of his surrealist images.
Born in East Orange, New Jersey, George Platt Lynes did not initially intend to have a career in photography. The summer after his graduation from high school, Lynes traveled to Paris, where he met the writers Gertrude Stein and Jean Cocteau. He returned to enroll at Yale University but left school after one semester. His parents helped him start a publishing house, but the business soon failed. The serendipitous gift of a camera led him into taking portraits of his literary friends, including Marianne Moore, Colette, and W.H. Auden.
In 1933 Lynes opened his first New York studio where he did fashion photography for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar; throughout the 1930s his elegant portraits gained popularity among the city's elite. In 1935, Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine invited Lynes to produce promotional photographs for their ballet company. For twenty years, Lynes photographed many of the era's greatest ballet dancers. Balanchine hailed the photographer's work as "all that will be remembered of my repertory in a hundred years."
The 1940s saw Lynes' decline as a fashion photographer, but also the production of his extraordinary male nudes. After an ill-fated foray into Hollywood publicity photography, Lynes returned to New York, but was stricken with debt and illness. Diagnosed with cancer in May 1955, he died later that year at age 48.
George Platt Lynes will be on view in conjunction with the exhibition Spar: Photographs from Cuba by Paul Meleschnig both running from March 1st through April 7th, 2012. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 521 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm. For more information or press requests please contact Christiona Owen at 212 966 3978 or firstname.lastname@example.org.