American photographer Deborah Turbeville (1934–2013) was a pioneering figure: a woman working in a male-dominated era. Her unique visual signature has been recognizable since her emergence as a major talent in the 1970s with her work featuring in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Nova and The New York Times and for fashion labels including Comme des Garçons, Guy Laroche and Charles Jordan.
This publication focuses on the area of Turbeville’s practice where her genius as an artist can be found: photocollage. In contrast to her contemporaries, Turbeville would deliberately be playful with her images – xeroxing, cutting, scraping and pinning prints together, writing words in the margins and creating narrative sequences. Her work is located far from single, glossy images. It inhabits a liminal zone between art and commerce.
Built upon extensive research in the Deborah Turbeville archive by Nathalie Herschdorfer in collaboration with MUUS Collection, the work shown spans commercial and personal projects, with many images being published for the first time. Supported by texts by Vince Aletti, Felix Hoffmann and Anna Tellgren, and featuring an interview with Carla Sozzani, whose commissions for Vogue Italia played a key role in nurturing Turbeville’s career, this book brings into view the ways in which Turbeville redefined fashion photography, moving away from the sexual provocation and stereotypes assigned by male photographers to an idea of femininity on her terms.
Published in connection with a major, touring exhibition opening at Photo Elysée in Lausanne in late 2023, this is a highly desirable and collectible volume for all who appreciate fashion photography, its history and the image makers who have explored the boundaries of creative expression and experimentation.