DEBORAH TURBEVILLE: Photographs 1977-1981

This exhibition presents Deborah Turbeville’s photographs from her Comme des Garçons and Women in the Woods photo shoot. On May 4, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the retrospective exhibition “Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”. This period was an important one for Deborah Turbeville. She completed two major projects: Comme des Garçons, and Women in the Woods for Italian Vogue, seen here. In subsequent years she reworked this material using multiple printing methods, different papers and sizes, bleaching and darkening.

This distinct, intensely personal vision projects a sense of isolation, romanticism, and ambivalence that is haunting and disturbing. Turbeville creates a charged atmosphere of mystery, ambiguity, and drama by combining elements of architecture, décor, and fashion with her sense of composition, often presenting women in groups, with no interaction between them.

Born in Massachusetts, Turbeville (1932-2013) started her career as a model for designer Claire McCardell. She became a fashion editor and then a photographer. Since her work first appeared in VOGUE in the 1970’s she has been acknowledged as a dominant figure in contemporary photography, bringing an entirely original vision to the art. She has had numerous exhibitions throughout the world.

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