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[ j e a n l o u p s i e f f ]

    doisneau

    Voilette, 1985





    Biography

    [Born: 1933]
    [Died: Laennec hospital, Paris, 20th September 2000]
    [Nationality: French]

    Jeanloup Sieff's photography delights in the pleasurable. When in 1954 he put aside ideas of a glamorous life in film or on the French Riviera working as a gigolo, it was for a career in photojournalism, driven by a different kind of pleasure-seeking: 'the physical pleasure of rendering certain shapes, the pleasure of those maddening lights, the pleasure taken in composing and living through spaces and meetings'.

    His photographs, however, communicate an undying fascination with the glossy world of the movies, of pleasurable lives lived under the Hollywood sky, of movie-still photography, where a moment of glamour is paused with all the expressionistic lighting effects of the film set still glowing.

    Sieff's work is frequently described in terms of Proustian remembrance, an interpretation fuelled by his use of deliberately evocative titles, like that of his monograph, Demain le temps sera plus vieux. However, he notes 'if I have caught myself struggling to remember, it was, if not a pretence, at least premature, in that I only ever used photography for my own pleasure - even if I then bewailed the vanished pleasure which my pictures brought back to me'.

    Though his Vogue fashion shoots of fur-trimmed and pampered London in the 1960s are some of the most recognizable of the decade, Sieff also took countless opportunities to photograph dancers. Possibly his most important project is his chronicle of dancers who have appeared with the Paris Opera Ballet, including Rudolph Noureev, Carolyn Carlson, Claire Motte and Nina Vyroubova. If there is a typical Sieff model, she is a teenage dancer with gathered up hair, pictured at practice, flexed and craning.

    Sieff argues that dancers have a 'corporeal intelligence' that enables them to fill space with their movements. 'Among the models I photograph for the fashion magazines, I recognize immediately the ones that have studied dance. They know how to carry their heads, they have a certain way of sitting and a natural elegance that the mastery of their bodies has shaped forever.'

    One of Sieff's earliest images is of a spindly blonde ballet student at Boris Kniaseff's dance school in Lausanne. The image reminded him of a Giacometti sculpture, and it is an ideal to which he constantly returns. Inevitably Sieff's photography responds to the culturally pervasive images of dancers created by Degas and Seurat, and of Rodin's bathing women. His photographs occasionally revisit poses made by Seurat's models, but in the language of the fashion shoot.

    There is a more politically engaged and introspective side to Sieff's work which, though he downplays its importance, addresses his own wartime rootlessness and wanderings. This side is revealed most clearly in his cracked and brittle-seeming photographs of Death Valley and the shots of unpopulated landscapes in Scotland.

    After narrowly avoiding the draft for the Algerian War in 1958, Seiff joined the Magnum photographic agency in 1958 - what he called 'taking the holy orders of photography' - and worked for them first in Rome, covering the death of Pope Pius XII, then in Turkey, Greece and Poland. Characteristically though, he left for the demi-monde of New York and the attractions of Harpers Bazaar magazine.

    Jeanloup Sieff's photography delights in the pleasurable. When in 1954 he put aside ideas of a glamorous life in film or on the French Riviera working as a gigolo, it was for a career in photojournalism, driven by a different kind of pleasure-seeking: 'the physical pleasure of rendering certain shapes, the pleasure of those maddening lights, the pleasure taken in composing and living through spaces and meetings'.

    His photographs, however, communicate an undying fascination with the glossy world of the movies, of pleasurable lives lived under the Hollywood sky, of movie-still photography, where a moment of glamour is paused with all the expressionistic lighting effects of the film set still glowing.

    Sieff's work is frequently described in terms of Proustian remembrance, an interpretation fuelled by his use of deliberately evocative titles, like that of his monograph, Demain le temps sera plus vieux. However, he notes 'if I have caught myself struggling to remember, it was, if not a pretence, at least premature, in that I only ever used photography for my own pleasure - even if I then bewailed the vanished pleasure which my pictures brought back to me'.

    Though his Vogue fashion shoots of fur-trimmed and pampered London in the 1960s are some of the most recognizable of the decade, Sieff also took countless opportunities to photograph dancers. Possibly his most important project is his chronicle of dancers who have appeared with the Paris Opera Ballet, including Rudolph Noureev, Carolyn Carlson, Claire Motte and Nina Vyroubova. If there is a typical Sieff model, she is a teenage dancer with gathered up hair, pictured at practice, flexed and craning.

    Sieff argues that dancers have a 'corporeal intelligence' that enables them to fill space with their movements. 'Among the models I photograph for the fashion magazines, I recognize immediately the ones that have studied dance. They know how to carry their heads, they have a certain way of sitting and a natural elegance that the mastery of their bodies has shaped forever.'

    One of Sieff's earliest images is of a spindly blonde ballet student at Boris Kniaseff's dance school in Lausanne. The image reminded him of a Giacometti sculpture, and it is an ideal to which he constantly returns. Inevitably Sieff's photography responds to the culturally pervasive images of dancers created by Degas and Seurat, and of Rodin's bathing women. His photographs occasionally revisit poses made by Seurat's models, but in the language of the fashion shoot.

    There is a more politically engaged and introspective side to Sieff's work which, though he downplays its importance, addresses his own wartime rootlessness and wanderings. This side is revealed most clearly in his cracked and brittle-seeming photographs of Death Valley and the shots of unpopulated landscapes in Scotland.

    After narrowly avoiding the draft for the Algerian War in 1958, Seiff joined the Magnum photographic agency in 1958 - what he called 'taking the holy orders of photography' - and worked for them first in Rome, covering the death of Pope Pius XII, then in Turkey, Greece and Poland. Characteristically though, he left for the demi-monde of New York and the attractions of Harpers Bazaar magazine.

    The great French photographer Jeanloup Sieff died on 20th September 2000 at the Laennec hospital in Paris. He was 66.

    links page

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    Nagoya, Japan, 1995
    'Images 95', festival de Vevey, Switzerland, 1995
    Institut français de Cracovie, Poland, 1995
    Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, USA, 1995
    Biennale de Nancy, Nancy, France, 1994
    'Hommage à 93 derrières.', Galerie Contrejour, Paris, 1994
    'Regards sur la mode', Bell Commens Gallery, Tokyo, 1994
    '40 ans de mode', Navio Museum, Osaka, Japan, 1993
    '40 ans de mode', Art Factory, Sendai, Japan, 1993
    'Paris des artistes', l'AFAA, traveling exhibition, China, 1993
    'Photofolies', Rodez, France, 1991
    'Photographies silencieuses', Crédit Foncier de France, Paris, 1990
    Bell Commens Gallery, Tokyo, 1990
    'L'année dernière, Comptoir de la Photo, Paris, 1989
    Rencontres internationals de la Photographie, Arles, France, 1988
    Vision Gallery, San Francisco, USA, 1988
    'Paysages', MJC, Amiens, France, 1988
    Paco Gallery, Tokyo, 1988
    'Torses nus', Mois de la Photo, Athens, Greece, 1987
    'Rétrospective', Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1986
    Zeit Foto Salon, Tokyo, 1986
    'Torses nus', Musée Nicéphore Niepce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France, 1986
    Hamilton Gallery, London, 1986
    Journées Internationales de la Photo, Montpellier, France, 1986
    Amsterdam Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1986
    Maison de la Culture de Dunkerque, France, 1985
    Festival de Vienne, Saint-André-le-Bas, France, 1985
    Festival de Rennes, France, 1984
    Festival de Trégor, France, 1984
    Centre culturel français, Essen, Germany, 1984
    Institute français, Aix-la-Chapelle, France, 1984
    Museum Hagen, Germany, 1983
    Hamilton Gallery, London, 1983
    Institute français, Cologne, Germany, 1983
    Novecento Gallery, Palermo, Italy, 1982
    Canon Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1982
    Galerie Photogramme, Montreal, Canada, 1982
    Galerie municipale 'le Château d'eau', Toulouse, France, 1982
    FNAC Montparnasse, Mois de la Photo, Paris, 1982
    Watari Gallery, Tokyo, 1982
    Silver Vision, Tulsa, USA, 1982
    Netzhaut Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany, 1981
    Fiolet Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1979
    Photogalerie Portfolio, Lausanne, France, 1978
    Librairie la Hune, Paris, 1978
    Galerie Paule Pia, Anvers, France, 1977
    Galerie Dieuzaide, Toulouse, France, 1976
    Foster White Gallery, Seattle, USA, 1976
    '43 portraits de Dames remarquables pour une raison ou une autre, dont quelques payages hautains', Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris, 1976
    FNAC Montparnasse, Paris, 1975
    Silver Image, Tacoma, USA, 1975
    Canon Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1975
    Spectrum Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 1974
    Nikon Gallery, Tokyo, 1983
    Galerie des Philosophes, Geneva, Switzerland, 1973
    Nikon Gallery, Paris, 1972
    Les Maisons de la Culture d'Abbeville, Bordeaux, France, 1971, traveling exhibition
    Académie d'Art Moderne, Gand, Belgium, 1971
    Underground Gallery, New York, 1971
    Maisons de la Culture d'Amiens, Amiens, France, 1970
    Angers, France, 1970
    Tours, France, 1970
    Le Havre, France, 1970
    Galerie la Demeure, Paris, 1969


    GROUP EXHIBITIONS

    'Paris, vintages', Hamilton Gallery, London, 1996
    'Paris, visages-paysages', Paris, 1996
    'Mèdecins sans frontières, Paris, 1991
    'Fashion Photography since 1945', Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1991
    'Histoire de la Photo de mode', Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria, 1990
    'Les prix Niepce', Musée Art moderne', Dunkirk, France, 1990
    'Le choix des sens', Revue Clichés au botanique, Brussels, 1989
    '20 ans de photo créative en France', Fondation Bayer/AGFA, France, 1988
    Rencontres d'Arles, France, 1988
    'Palais Garnier vu par.' Opéra de Paris, 1988
    'Hommage à Ferrari', Fondation Cartier, Jouy en Josas, France, 1987
    'La photographie de mode', Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1985
    'Regards sur l'architecture', Angers, France, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', Ministère des Relations extérieures, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', Association Français d'Action Artistique, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', RDA, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', Sweden, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', Denmark, 1984
    'Photo française: 10 photographes', Finland, 1984
    'La photo française', Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1983
    Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1982
    'Photographie de mode - Vogue 1920-1980', Musée Jacquement André, Paris, 1982
    'Paris-Paris', Centre George Pompidou, Paris, 1981
    'Photoscopies 81', essay on Carolyn Carlson, Centre national d'art contemporain, Paris, 1981
    'La photographie de mode française', Galerie Zabriskie, Paris, 1979
    'History on Fashion Photography', Rochester Museum, USA, 1977
    Galerie Canon, Geneva, Switzerland, 1976
    'The Human Image', Museum of Art, Washington University, USA, 1976
    'Portfolio 76', galerie Portfolio, Lausanne, France, 1976
    'Confrontation 73', Université de Dijon, Dijon, France, 1973
    'La photographie française', Varsovie, Poland, 1972
    'La photographie française', Moscow, Russia, 1972
    Musée Cantini, Marseille, France, 1968
    'La jeune photographie française', Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1967
    'Photographies de mode', Photokina, Cologne, Germany, 1966


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Paris, visage-paysages, Paris Musées, France, 1996
    Kobe-Aid fund, Tokyo, 1996
    Gainsbourg, Vade Retro, Paris, 1995
    Yves Montand, Vade Retro, Paris, 1995
    Dictionnaire de la mode, du Regard, Paris, 1994
    Dictionnaire des mots, Bordas, Paris, 1994
    Ritratti di fumo, Peliti, Rome, 1994
    Les routes du lait, Contrejour, Paris, 1994
    Portfolio, Black & White Magazine, interview, Sydney, Australia, 1993
    Photographers International, interview with F Horvat, Taiwan, 1993
    Il treno, Peliti, Rome, 1993
    Rudolph Noureev, Plume, Paris, 1993
    Patrick Dupond, Plume, Paris, 1993
    'Cimetières 14/18', La Somme, Amiens, France, 1991
    Appearences: Fashion Photography Since 1945, J Cape, London, 1991
    Entre vues, book interview with Frank Horvat, Seoul, South Korea, 1990
    Asahi Camera, Tokyo, 1990
    Nippon Camera, Tokyo, 1990
    150 Anniversaire de la photographie., Photographic Society of Japan, Tokyo, 1989
    5 photographes en Liberté: Essai sur la Révolution, Francom, Paris, 1989
    Clichés, Brussels, Belgium, 1989
    Photographie magazine, Paris, 1989
    Paysages, 3 Cailloux, Amiens, France, 1988
    'Marne-la-Ville.', Beba, 1987
    Collector's, Los Angeles, USA, 1987
    Camera International, Torses Nus, 1986
    Photomagazine, June 1986
    Dister, Alain, Connaissance des Arts, May 1986
    Beaton, Cecil, The Magic Image, 1985
    Sieff, Jeanloup, 'Portrait sans garde-fou', Clichés, Brussels, Belgium, November 1985
    Carte blanche à., Contrejour, Angénieux, 1984
    Planche contact, no 1, June 1984
    Walter, Annie, 'Sieff parle de Sieff: L'envie de photo', Photomagazine, September 1984
    Walter, Annie, 'Sieff parle de Sieff: Faire l'image', Photomagazine, October 1984
    Walter, Annie, 'Sieff parle de Sieff: Balade en Sicile', Photomagazine, December 1984-January 1985
    Walter, Annie, 'Sieff parle de Sieff: Photographies de mode', Photomagazine, February 1985
    Walter, Annie, 'Sieff parle de Sieff: Back is beautiful', Photomagazine, March 1985
    Calvenzi, Giovanna, Il Fotografo, Italy, June 1984
    Le Nu français, Janninck, Paris, 1983
    Ellis, Ainslie, 'Essences and Ambiguities', British Journal of Photography, London, 9 December 1983
    'Photographer's Space', Photo, Japan, December 1983
    d'Hooghe, Alain, 'Jeanloup Sieff: Inédits de mode 1960-1964', Clichés, Brussels, November 1983
    Passion, special edition on Jeanloup Sieff, April 1983
    Merlo, Lorenzo, Jeanloup Sieff: nooit een blow-up type geweest', Foto, The Netherlands, January 1983
    Camera, Peterborough, USA, October 1982
    Sladovic, Anne, Jeanloup Sieff: Regard et Solitude, Quotidien de Paris, special photography edition, October 1982
    Photomagazine, le portrait des stars par les stars du portrait, May 1982
    Nikon World, Japan, 1981
    Sieff, Jeanloup, 'Monologue Photographie', Culture et Communication, published by le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, no 36, 1981
    Photoscopies 81, Jeanloup Sieff: Carolyn Carlson
    Photo, Sieff et la pub: Images très Libres sur un theme impose, December 1981
    Maudery, Guy, Photomagazine Ciné, Kaléscope, un jour avec Jeanloup Sieff, June 1981
    Best of Nudes, Tokyo, 1980
    Melcher, Russel, 'Jeanloup Sieff', You and Your Camera, London, 1980
    Bauret, Gabriel, 'Collected Matter', Zoom, no 73, 1980
    Photo Magazine Cinéma, December 1980
    Petri, Pier Paolo, Jeanloup Sieff, Il fotografo, Italy, September 1980
    Sieff, Jeanloup, 'Hitchcock directs', Foto, June 1980
    Jamais, Guy, 'Death Valley', Foto, May 1980
    Encyclopédie de la Photo, Elsvier, Brussels, Belgium, 1979
    'The sketch of an anthological album presented by the author', Zoom, no 68, 1979
    'Death Valley Days', American Photographer, New York, September 1979
    Tournier, Michel, Des clefs et des serrures, Denoël, Paris, 1978
    Photo, September 1978
    Camera, Switzerland, September 1978
    'Jag Hattar att var omtyck av idioter., Aktuell Fotografi, Finland, 9 September 1978
    US Camera, New York, Autumn 1978
    Camera Photo World, New York, August 1978
    'Jeanloup Sieff: la Valle della Morta', Nuova Fotografia, Italy, July-August 1978
    'Le Routard du Nevada, Photo, May 1978
    Masterpiece of erotic photography, Talisman Books, London, 1977
    'Die Revolte des Jeanloup Sieff', Photo film, RFA, no 60, 1977
    'A Certain image of French Photography', Fondation Nationale de la Photographie, October 1977
    'Quand Sieff s'évade', Photo, September 1977
    Grand Angle, Phillipe Damperon interview, March-April 1977
    Flash Foto, Spain, March 1977
    'La Révolte de Jeanloup Sieff', Photo, December 1976
    'Jeanloup Sieff inedito', Photo, Spain, no 1, 1976
    Schofield, Jack, 'Jeanloup Sieff', Photo Technique, UK, October 1976
    Foto, The Netherlands, December 1975
    '20 ans de Sieff', Photo, October 1974
    Commercial Photo Series, Japan, no 26, Autumn 1974
    Vorlet, Jean-Pierre, Photo Amateur, Switzerland, August 1974
    Trbuljak, Goran, Spot, Yugoslavia, May 1974
    The Image, UK, March 1974
    Minguez, Pablo, Nueva Lente, Spain, 1973
    Asashi Camera, Japan, October 1973
    Progresso Fotografico, Italy, September 1973
    'Marco Ferreri par Jeanloup Sieff', Photo, August 1973
    Photo World, USA, Summer 1973
    Tremlin, Summer 1973
    Salbitani, Roberto A, Progresso Fotografico, Italy, February 1972
    Gautrand, Jean-Claude, Photo revue, December 1972
    'Jeanloup Sieff inédit', Photo, November 1972
    'Portfolio', Camera Mainichi, Japan, August 1971
    The British Journal of Photography, London, 5 November 1971
    Camera Mainichi, Japan, no 8 and no 9, 1971
    'A quoi rêve un jeune maître de la mode', Photo, February 1971
    Creative Camera, London, 1970
    Gautrand, Jean-Claude, Phototribune internationale, Belgium, September 1970
    Aalto, Jussi, 'Jeanloup Sieff', Kamera, Finland, July 1970
    Camera Mainichi, Japan, no 10, 1970
    Populär Fotografi, Sweden, 1970
    Photo, March 1969
    Photo, October 1967
    Sieff, Jeanloup, 'La photo de mode n'existe pas', Techniques Graphiques, October 1967
    Fehr, Gertrude, 'Jeanloup Sieff', Foto Prisma, RFA, October 1967
    Photography italiana, Italy, March 1967
    Porter, Allan, 'Mode et Photographie', Camera, Switzerland, 1966
    US Camera Annual, New York, 1965
    US Camera Annual, New York, 1963
    Laurent, J, J'aime la danse, Rencontre, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1962
    Martinez, Roméo, Camera, Lucerne, Switzerland, September 1958


    BOOKS AND PORTFOLIOS BY THE ARTIST

    Danza, Motta, Milan, Italy, 1996
    I had a dream, essay on the actress Kumiko Goto, Asahi, Tokyo, 1995
    Hommage à 93 derrières choisis pour leurs qualities plastiques, intellectuelles ou morales, Contrejour, Paris, 1994
    Demain le temps sera plus vieux, Contrejour, Paris, 1990
    Jeanloup Sieff, Parco, Tokyo, 1988
    Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, retrospective catalogue, 1986
    Borinage 1959, Charleroi, 1986
    Torses nus, Contrejour, Paris, 1986
    Intimode, agence Safronoff, 1984
    Vers les ciels d'or, (Towards the Golden Sky), journal de voyage de Guy de Maupassant en Sicile, Novocento, Palermo, Sicily, 1984
    Jeanloup Sieff, (Les Grands Photographes), Filipacchi, Paris, 1983
    Jeanloup Sieff, (I grandi fotografi), Fabbri, Milan, Italy, 1982
    Portrait de Dames assises, de paysages tristes et de nus mollement las, Contrejour, Paris, 1982
    La Vallée de la Mort, Denoël, Paris, 1978
    La photo, with Chenz, Denoël, Paris, 1975, 2nd ed 1985
    Académie d'Art Moderne de Gand, Belgium, exhibition catalogue, 1971
    Jeanloup Sieff, Galerie la Demeure, J-P Sudre, introduction Jeanloup Sieff, La Demeure, Paris, 1968


    TELEVISION/RADIO

    Paris Match Première, Philippe Azoulay, television, 26 minutes, Paris, 1996
    Le bon plaisir, 3 hours, France Culture, Paris, 1993
    Grand format, one hour, RTL, Paris, 1991
    Schick-chaud, one hour, RF1, Paris, 1991
    Télévision Suisse, Portrait, 30 minutes, 1986
    Flash 3, Eric Cloué, TF1, 1981
    Expressions, TF1, 1980
    La nudité, France Culture, 1980
    3 jours, 3 photographes, F Moskowitz with Robert Doisneau and Bruno Barbey, television, TF1, 1978
    La Vallée de la mort, Jeanloup Sieff, television, TF1, one hour, August 1978
    Invité du Lundi et Chemin de la connaisance, radio, France Culture, 1976
    Entretiens, Télévision Suisse Romande, 1976
    Chambre noir, Michael Tournier, television, TF1, May 1969




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    [ t h e m a n ]

    sieff


    [ s i e f f w a r e s ]

    [ b o o k s ]

    sieff

  • jeanloup sieff: 40 years of photography
    jeanloup sieff
    hardcover book (1996)
  • buy:
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    sieff
    dance: photographs by jeanloup sieff (motta photography s.)
    jeanloup sieff
    hardcover book (1999)

  • buy:
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    sieff

  • etats d'me... et ta soeur !
    jeanloup sieff
    french book (2000)
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    sieff

  • faites comme si je n'tais pas l!
    jeanloup sieff
    french book (2002)
  • buy:
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    sieff

  • la terre se souvient
    jeanloup sieff
    french book (2003)
  • buy:
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[ p r i n t s ]

    sieff
  • cafe de flore ton le matin
    jeanloup sieff
    offset lithograph
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