amfAR Gala Cannes
25 May, 2017
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George Hurrell
Photo Collection

Starting bid: $50,000

Set of 10 images

Gelatin silver prints

3 x 4 ft (91 x 121 cm) each

Signed and numbered by the artist

 
lot description

During the 1930s George Hurrell was the primary portrait photographer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and in 1942 he started to take photos for the Army. Developing new lighting techniques and distinctive visual language, his art gave Hollywood stars a look of mystery and perfection. The secret of his style was working with shadows instead of direct light. The sharpness of emphasized jawlines and cheekbones enhanced the beauty of their owners. Progressive for his time, Hurrell was skillful with retouching, preferring his subjects make-up free so he could add effects to the negative afterwards. Ever adaptive to the look and technology of the age, Hurrell’s work ranged from highly glamorized black-and-white portraits of stars like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford to contemporary color pictures of the famous actors, models, and musicians of the fierce and fabulous 1980s.

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artist biography

Hollywood glamour… The very notion is so familiar, and the images that most perfectly illustrate the concept are so readily conjured, that most movie fans are unaware that a single photographer is largely responsible for the look and feel of the classic film-glamour ideal. George Hurrell (1904 - 1992) invented the Hollywood glamour portrait, shaping for all time the public image of many of the movies’ greatest legends, while defining the visual vernacular of the Golden Age of Hollywood itself. 

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