Ellen Von Unwerth and Melvin Kolosky show at Fahey/Klein through November 26, 2011

Photo copyright by Melvin Sokolsky
Photo copyright by Melvin Sokolsky
Photo copyright by Melvin Sokolsky
Photo copyright by Ellen Von Unwerth
Photo copyright by Ellen Von Unwerth
Photo copyright by Ellen Von Unwerth
Photo copyright by Ellen Von Unwerth

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present the work of renowned photographer Melvin Sokolsky. The exhibition features large-scale oversized murals from Sokolsky’s iconic Bubble and Fly series including never before seen images which will be presented along with copies of Melvin’s new limited edition publication, Paris 1963 / Paris 1965.

When Melvin Sokolsky, all of 25 years old and already a regular contributor to Harper’s Bazaar, shot the 1963 Paris collection, he forecast a change of language in fashion photography. Diana Vreeland, asking for something original, found herself in a spontaneous and unique collaboration that combined the surrealist cinematics of the avant garde 60s, aspects of the burgeoning egalitarian street photography movement, and the astringency of high fashion. Brought to life by his favorite photographic subject, Simone d’Aillencourt, Sokolsky’s “Bubble” series set a new standard in fashion photography.

By 1965, Sokolsky was an established name in the world of fashion photography, and his follow-up project, “Fly” with model Dorothea McGowan, broadened the scope of his vision and the breadth of his artistic statement. From the gentle floating of the bubble to the whimsical flights of fashion, Paris 1963 / Paris 1965 showcases these two projects with a series of iconic and striking, newly discovered images from the series.

We are also pleased to announce the availability of a limited edition Melvin Sokolsky publication entitled, Paris 1963 / Paris 1965. This limited edition book includes all of Sokolsky’s printed images from the Bubble and Fly series, including previously unreleased and alternate visions of his iconic series, behind the scenes documentary photos, and outtakes along with a retrospective of the artist’s process and development, including a critical assessment of Sokolsky’s achievement by art historian Raphaelle Stopin and reflections on both projects by Sokolsky and Ali MacGraw.

At the age of twenty-one Melvin Sokolsky joined the staff of Harper’s Bazaar. He has since been honored with twenty-five Clio Awards and a Directors Guild nomination. His work is included in numerous private collections throughout Europe and the United States. Melvin Sokolsky currently lives in Los Angeles.

Also at The Fahey/Klein gallery is a selection of photographs from contemporary German photographer, Ellen von Unwerth, in her first Los Angeles exhibition. Ellen Von Unwerth’s photographs are a pure celebration of provocative femininity; they revel in spontaneity and sincerity and fully reflect her tenet that “women are not just there to be admired, they are there to be enjoyed”. When shooting her favorite subject, women, Ellen von Unwerth states that she wants to portray, “Women with strong personalities who are not shy, but who embrace their sexuality and use it. Women who are independent and sassy and think for themselves. All characteristics that accentuate their beauty. In short, women you want to meet and who you’d like to dream about.” (Ellen von Unwerth, 2009, Taschen’s Fraulein)

Ellen Von Unwerth’s photographs capture an authentic and undeniable chemistry which she shares with her models. Before beginning her career as a fine art photographer, Ellen von Unwerth worked as a fashion model for ten years. Because of this experience, she states, “I think that, because I know what it feels like to be in front of the camera, I can be more sympathetic to my subjects. Being in front of the lens, you are very vulnerable. But it’s very helpful to know exactly what it’s like. When I was a model I hated when I wasn’t allowed to move, so I love movement and I encourage my subjects to play around, to move and to be silly. I think that women open up more to a female photographer. It’s like little girls playing around. You can be a bit naughty and do things you wouldn’t do in front of boys. It’s more relaxed somehow. I think it’s an empowering experience.” (Interview with Ellen Von Unwerth By Alice Wyllie, November 10, 2009)

Ingrid Sischy, contributing editor of “Vanity Fair” magazine, writes, “even though von Unwerth seems to break from the tradition of serious photography because she has such fun doing it, it’s because she has such fun doing it that she actually fits squarely into it. She is her own chapter of the story of women photographers, a group who were for so long invisible, but went out into the world to record it, and found people, places, and feelings they wanted to capture.” (Ellen von Unwerth’s Couples)

Ellen has shot editorial work for magazines including Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Interview. Along with creating editorial and Fine Art work, she has produced several short films, directed music videos and is highly praised for her advertisement campaigns which include Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and Guess— all of which combine classical femininity with a playfully erotic portrayal of womanhood.

Ellen von Unwerth’s works have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. Her photo novella released in 2003, Revenge, had concurrent shows which were exhibited both nationally and internationally. An overview of her work can be seen in the Taschen publication Fraulein. The initial limited edition book of Fraulein with a print sold out. Taschen just released the trade edition of this publication which will be available at the gallery. Ellen von Unwerth lives and works in Paris.

This exhibition runs October 20 through November 26, 2011
Reception for the Artist Thursday, October 20, 7-9 p.m.

Contact: Celeste Jovanovich

Fahey/Klein Gallery is located at 148 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036 

Phone: (323) 934-2250

By Jim McKinniss

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