PDN Photo of the Day

A Pioneer’s Journey From Fashion to Collage

An exhibition of collages by Deborah Turbeville (American, 1932-2013), the influential 20th century fashion photographer, is on view at Deborah Bell Photographs through June 29. It is the first exhibition devoted solely to Turbeville’s collages. 

Turbeville is renowned for her iconoclastic fashion photographs depicting brooding models wearing haute-couture clothing posed in desolate settings. Her pictures were widely published in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, The New York Times Magazine, and other major publications. Advertising clients included Comme des Garçons, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Calvin Klein.

Turbeville had no formal photography training until 1966 when she enrolled in a six-month photography workshop given by Richard Avedon and the art director Marvin Israel. In the late 1970s she began to create books and exhibitions of her prints and collages. Her first book, Wallflower, was designed by Israel and published in 1978. It was Israel who encouraged Turbeville to use tape and t-pins in assembling her collages, and to treat her prints as anything but precious. 

“Turbeville’s acute attention to the mood of a place, the nuance of facial expression and body language, and her innovative cropping of the image she saw through her camera, are all accentuated in the serial imagery of her collages,” writes the gallery in the press release.

Turbeville was not only prolific and internationally published as an image-maker, but was also a maverick printmaker. She used unusual papers, experimented with toning and alternative processes, and intentionally scratched her negatives, striving to imbue her prints and collages with a sense of decay and timelessness. 

Deborah Turbeville: Colllages is presented in association with Staley-Wise Gallery, New York. 

Deborah Turbeville: Colllages
Deborah Bell Photographs
Through June 29, 2019

Related Articles
What is Collage in the Digital Age? Hint: No Scissors Necessary
The First Light of Day
Scrapbook Stories of Love and War
Examining Technology through Colorful Collages

Posted in:

Fine Art


, , ,


Comments off


Comments are closed.

Top of Page