B7 GALLERY CHAPEL ROOM INSTALLATION
Opening Reception: Saturday April 6 from 6-9pm
Exhibition: April 6 - April 28
Jean Clemmer Collaborations
Salvador Dali/Paco Rabanne
with pleasant collaboration of the House Paco Rabanne
The exhibition titled Jean Clemmer Collaborations Salvador Dali/Paco Rabanne will present for the first time in America the creative partnerships between the photographer Jean Clemmer, the artist Salvador Dalí and the designer Paco Rabanne that begun in the 1960's. The works assemble this trinity of influence representing some of the most alluring photographic images of the decade encouraging what would soon become known as the sexual revolution while asserting Surrealism was a timeless school of thought. This body of work served as an important component in a mechanism that brought forth an incendiary upheaval of change.
The Swiss born photographer Jean Clemmer first began collaborating with the Surrealist master Salvador Dalí in 1962. Together they created tableaux vivants at Dalí's home in Port Lligat along Spain's Costa Brava as well as fashion spreads for magazines. Clemmer was the only photographer to document Dalí's first and only solo directorial of the film Le Divin Dalí, that sadly was destroyed in a fire.
Both artist and photographer chose the designer Paco Rabanne, a mascot of this era of change, to dress their subjects. Dalí called Rabanne the “second greatest Spanish genius" and constantly sought Rabanne for the costumes of his photographic projects, performance and film projects. Dalí's favorite models Amanda Lear, Elsa Peretti and Donyale Luna, were dressed in Rabanne's dramatic creations which in part was documented in A Soft Self Portrait narrated by Orson Welles. The mindset of the1960's was catapulted by the success of the first moon landing and what was perceived as space travel's unlimited potential.
Rabanne encapsulated the spirit of this as he utilized the materials of space exploration that included rhoidoid, chain mail, phosphorescent plastic disks, aluminum, rubber, and plastic sheeting. These materials were sculpted into seductive works that highlighted the provocative aspects of the body and its sinuous contours of exposed flesh. Rabanne's creations celebrated another influence of the decade, the sexual revolution. Rabanne's memes of space age futurism paired with provocation were embedded into history with his iconic costumes for Jane Fonda in Barbarella, as well as the gold-paneled dress he created for Francoise Hardy.
Clemmer, who had become one of the most noted erotic photographers of his day, moved forward with Rabanne on the project Canned Candies featuring female nudes modeling the jewelry and costumes of Rabanne. This project became the book Nues, embracing a fusion of the most influential aspects of the 1960's; a fascination with futurism and sensuality. Futurism's sensibility of space travel manifested itself in Nues into an exotica of metal while sensuality and the sexual revolution it encouraged was celebrated in the book's uninhibited presentation of the female form. However, what made the book Nues a true catalyst of its era was accomplished by its paradigm shift of the idealization of female beauty. Clemmer and Rabanne chose women of varying races personifying them equally in a new mythic stature.
In the 1980's Clemmer returned to his collaborative journey with Dalí and created the Metamorphosis Series that layered transparencies of images upon the body of nude silhouettes. A highlight of one of the Metamorphosis prints incorporated the triad of Clemmer, Dali and Rabanne. Dali's paintings, Rabanne's clothing and Clemmer's duality of image became a signature scene on a beach presenting a trinity of influence and is signed by both photographer, artist and designer.
Jean Clemmer Collaborations Salvador Dali/Paco Rabanne will offer to the public the last signed photographs of the Jean Clemmer Estate. The exhibition, in collaboration with the Paris House Paco Rabanne, will include for the first time new editions printed in a large format. The exhibition, sponsored by Paco Rabanne, will also include new photographs uncovered in the Jean Clemmer Archive that will be seen for the first time and have been printed this month and shipped to Los Angeles
Jean Clemmer Collaborations Salvador Dalí / Paco Rabanne will open April 5th in the Chapel Room at Robert Berman Gallery. On Saturday April 27th there will be hosted a two day exhibition of Clemmer's collaborations with Dalí and Rabanne that will take over the entire gallery during the weekend of Paris Photo LA. This exhibition will serve as a preview to a larger retrospective of Jean Clemmer's collaborations with Dalí and Rabanne that is proposed at this time.
This exhibition is curated by Laura Whitcomb author of Dali the Paradox of Fashion with the aid of the Estate of Jean Clemmer via Hélène Heidsieck Clemmer and her husband Yann Heidsieck. It is made possible by the pleasant and generous support of the House Paco Rabanne.