F.C. Gundlach

Salon de la Photo, Paris

8 to 12 November 2018

For F.C. Gundlach, Paris was a place of inspiration and the starting point for numerous fashion editorials. In 1950 F.C. Gundlach crosses the French border for the first time with Paris as his yearning destination. There, he creates atmospheric images with strong chiaroscuro contrasts, as known from the film aesthetics of Film Noir in the 1940s. Night shots of the Place Pigalle or the Champs-Élysées are reminiscent of Brassaïs Paris de nuit. "Paris..." F.C. Gundlach remembers "... photographed itself on his own".

The city appears to him as a breathless metropolis with a lively and public cultural life. For the network of metropolitan bohemians, street cafés like the "Flore" become meeting places and centres of literary and philosophical exchange. The young photographer is right in the middle of it. F.C. Gundlach portrays the protagonists of the cultural metropolis: the couple Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, Gérard Philipe, Jean Cocteau, Jaques Hébertot, Jean Marais and many others. Already in 1951 F.C. Gundlach has his first solo exhibition, in the Librairie Jean Robert in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Frequent visits to Paris, as well as his contacts to the German and Parisian magazine scene eventually connect him to fashion photography. In 1952, F.C. Gundlach photographs "Dior in Paris" for Elegante Welt. Since then, the names of the major Parisian fashion regularly appear in the collections photographed by F.C. Gundlach: Chanel, Jacques Fath, Yves Saint Laurent or Pierre Cardin. As prêt-à-porter fashion became more and more important next to haute couture in Paris, F.C. Gundlach reacted with fashion reportages whose stagings were characterized by spontaneity and narrative elements and at the same time reflected the emancipation of women in the 1960s. 

This way, F.C. Gundlach captured fashion and social change for more than four decades. With his covers and fashion editorial in Film und Frau as well as later in Brigitte, Germany's highest-circulation women's magazine, he had a far-reaching influence on fashion and women's images of his time.

The motif „journey“ stands as an apt metaphor for F.C. Gundlach's life and work, because Paris was only the beginning: Starting in Hamburg and Berlin he travels all over the world: from South America via Northland to the Near and Far East, from Africa to the USA and the Caribbean. As a commissioned photographer, his product is the printed image in the fashion editorials of the magazines. At the same time, he follows his high formal standards, constantly searching for surprising pictorial ideas, which he often realizes "on location". Thus he stages a series of pictures with swimwear under the title "The whole day on the beach" in the desert in front of the pyramid of Giza. In the studio he stages Pop Art Fashion with the later Vogue editor Grace Coddington in a jersey dress by Daniel Hechter against a hand-painted backdrop à la Roy Lichtenstein. In the skilful combination of model and background, his photography is characterized by the vivid combination of fashion content and artistic arrangement.

Salon de Photo
Pavillon 5 -1er etage
Parc des expositions - Porte de Versailles
1, place de la Porte de Versailles 75015