25 March — 12 June, 2011
Albert Watson’s images encompass every conceivable genre and technique and have made him one of the greatest in history. For the first time in Sweden, Fotografiska is presenting a massive and intense retrospective of Watson’s oeuvre featuring 120 photographs in an exhibition that is an intimate and grandiose presentation of this international photographer’s life and work.
The inconsistency is consistent
The exhibition presents unique images that have moulded our perception of fashion, commercialism, celebrities, photography and music for four decades.Albert Watson (b. 1942) has shot everything from glamorous portraits of Naomi Campbell, Mick Jagger and Jack Nicholson to documentary books on Morocco and Las Vegas. From colour to black and white. From prisoners on death row in Louisiana to marketing campaigns for Chanel and Levi’s. The inconsistency is consistent in Albert Watson’s life work. Both in his choice of projects and objects.
Watson has more than 200 Vogue covers and 650 ad campaigns under his belt. He became famous overnight in 1973 with his black-and-white portrait of the film director Alfred Hitchcock holding a dead goose, a picture he took for the Christmas edition of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. The photo epitomises Watson’s philosophy for portraits: “The bigger the personality, the simpler the photo.”
To the wider audience, Watson is best known for Cyclops (the title alludes to the fact that he is blind on one eye), published in 1997, a book that is impressive in its attention to detail and technical perfection. In addition to the portrait of Hitchcock, the picture of a young Kate Moss is among Watson’s most legendary works. Moss was photographed nude on a rooftop for German Vogue early in her career, aged only 17. The picture was taken in natural light in Marrakesh in 1993. In 2007, the original was sold for 100,000 dollars at an auction at Christie’s in London. The exhibition at Fotografiska is a retrospective featuring Albert Watson’s classic portraits, landscapes and colourful fashion photos.
Alongside his commercial assignments, Watson has always devoted as much time to his private photo projects as possible. He has published several photo books, including Cyclops (1994), Maroc (1998) and a retrospective book simply called Albert Watson (1997). In 2010, he published a book on his Las Vegas project, Strip Search, and a fashion book, UFO: Unified Fashion Objectives.
The bible of the photographic industry, Photo District News, has called Watson one of the twenty most influential photographers through time. He has won countless awards (including a Lucie, a Grammy and three Andies) and has been featured in solo exhibitions at some of the most prestigious museums in the world (including Galleria d’arte moderna in Milan, KunstHauseWien, and FotoMuseum in Antwerp).
Curator: Maria Patomell