Marlene Dietrich by Cornel Lucas, 1948

A retrospective exhibition of work by legendary, British photographer Cornel Lucas will be held at the Fiorentini + Baker store and show room in New York City. The extensive show will feature both modern and original vintage prints of some of the world's most celebrated film stars - spanning nearly 5 decades. This is the very first time the British photographer, who will be celebrating his 92nd birthday as the exhibition opens, will have his iconic work displayed in New York.

During his seventy-year career Lucas has photographed some of the world's greatest film stars both at Pinewood Studios, in London and on film locations all over the world. Marlene Dietrich was arguably his most renowned sitter and the first of many legendary faces Lucas immortalized at the height of their stardom. Described in the Royal Academy Magazine as 'one of the greatest British portrait photographers of the 20th century', Lucas has shot Brigitte Bardot, Joan Collins, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Simmons, Claudia Cardinale, David Niven, Lauren Bacall, Federico Fellini, Gregory Peck, Diana Dors, Steven Spielberg and many more celebrated names, all captured in his trademark film-noir chic.

His images epitomize the style and glamor of an era and it was this unique encapsulation of that time, which appealed to British born designer and founder of the fashion brand Fiorentini + Baker - Deborah Baker, prompting her to invite Lucas to exhibit at her flagship Mercer Street store and show room in New York City.

'When I first saw Cornel's work in a London gallery I was instantly mesmerized by the beauty and style of the images,' Explains the designer. 'They chronicle an era of style and glamor that I really admire and since seeing his work its originality has really inspired me - we're very proud to be hosting this exciting exhibition.'

Lucas was the master of the 12 x 10 large format plate camera, creating stunning, rich portraits, which are full of life and luminosity. Lucas is the only photographer ever to receive a BAFTA in honor of his services to the film industry.

'I was 10yrs old when my mother gave me a Kodak Brownie camera. This and my having six sisters as captive sitters was the beginning of my life in photography. My immediate desire was to use light and shade to bring beauty and sensuality to my subjects'. Explains Lucas. 'Working in the film industry during the earlier part of my career, I was greatly influenced by the top film directors and cinematographers, both British and American. I'm thrilled to have an exhibition in New York as this will be an all time first for me and I would like to thank Deborah Baker for kindly giving me this wonderful opportunity.'

The extensive exhibition will open on 5th September with a private viewing and will run until October 28 at Fiorentini + Baker 54 Mercer Street, Soho, NYC. All of the portraits both vintage and modern prints will be available for sale.

The work of Cornel Lucas is in the permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum (London), National Media Museum and London's Photographers' Gallery. His work has been exhibited internationally including at the Peter Fetterman Gallery (Los Angeles). 

Photo Courtesy Of: Cornel Lucas


Anonymous said…
Sounds really cool. Will be checking this out for sure!