Peter Lindbergh

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Peter Lindbergh, born Peter Brodbeck, is a German photographer and filmmaker, born on November 23, 1944 in Leszno, Poland.

Peter Lindbergh spent his childhood in Duisburg.

After a basic school education he worked as a window dresser for the Karstadt and Horten department stores in Duisburg. At 18, he moved to Switzerland. Eight months later, he went from Lucerne to Berlin and took evening courses at the Academy of Arts. He hitchhiked to Arles in the footsteps of his idol, Vincent van Gogh. After several months in Arles, he continued through Spain and Morocco, a journey that took him two years.

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Back to Germany he studied Free Painting at the College of Art in Krefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia). In 1969, while still a student, he exhibited his work for the first time at the Galerie Denise René/Hans Mayer. Concept Art marked his last period of interest in art. In 1971 he looked towards photography and worked for two years as assistant to Düsseldorf-based photographer Hans Lux.

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Peter Lindbergh moved to Paris in 1978 and started working internationally for Vogue, first the Italian, then the English, French, German and American Vogue, later for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Allure, and Rolling Stone. His photographs mostly black-and-white, uses a pictorial language that takes its lead from early German cinema, and also from the Berlin art scene of the 1920s.

In 1988, Anna Wintour arrived at American Vogue and signed Lindbergh for the magazine. He shot Miss Wintour’s first, then revolutionary American Vogue, November 1988 cover.

Lindbergh was the first photographer to bring together Linda, Naomi, Tatjana, Cindy and Christy on one shot, so kick-starting the whole “Supermodel Phenomenon”(with his legendary January 1990 British Vogue cover.)

He made portraits of Catherine Deneuve, Mick Jagger, Charlotte Rampling, Nastassja Kinski, Tina Turner, John Travolta, Madonna, Sharon Stone, John Malkovich and countless others.

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When Lindbergh was put under contract to the American Harpers Bazaar by Liz Tilberis in 1992, she made her editor sign a seven figure check.

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His first book, 10 Women by Peter Lindbergh, a black and white portfolio of ten top contemporary models was published in 1996 and had sold more than 100,000 copies as of 2008.

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There have been dozens of exhibitions featuring Peter Lindbergh’s work around the world since his photography was included in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Shots of Style exhibition in London in 1985. Peter Lindbergh Smoking Women, first shown in the Galerie Gilbert Brownstone in Paris in 1992, travelled to Tokyo's Bunkamura Gallery in 1994 and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt in 1996. The same year, prompted by the reaction to the 1994 show, the Bunkamura Museum of Art accorded Peter Lindbergh a retrospective, which broke the previous attendance records set by the Jacques Henri Lartigue and Leni Riefenstahl retrospectives.

In 1997, Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof showed Peter Lindbergh: Images of Women, which toured museums in Hamburg, Milan, Rome and Vienna in 1998, followed by showings at the International Photography Festival in Japan in 1999 and 2000. Irina Antonova brought Images of Women to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow in 2002, making Peter the first photographer exhibited by the Pushkin.

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Peter Lindbergh was the first photographer to incorporate storylines into his fashion editorials. His iconic Martian story with Helena Christensen for Italian Vogue in 1990 was the beginning of the narrative in fashion photography.

The Metropolitan Museum showed in the exhibition Models As Muse in 2009. In 2010, his exhibition On Street at the C/O (Berlin) counted 90 000 visitors.

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China exposed in April and May 2011 The Unknown Lindbergh’s gigantic installation, curated by Jerome Sans. It attracted more than 70 000 visitors.

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Peter Lindbergh has made a number of films, including the 1991 feature length documentary Models - The Film, shot in New York with the Supermodels. Inner Voices (1999), a thirty-minute drama documentary examining self-expression in method acting, won the prize for Best Documentary at the International Festival of Cinema in Toronto in 2000. In 2001, Lindbergh directed an experimental half-hour film for Channel 4 about his friend Pina Bausch, titled Pina Bausch - Der Fensterputzer.

Shown off at Cannes in 2007, his latest film Everywhere at Once, co-directed with Holly Fisher, had its world premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Narrated by Jeanne Moreau, this haunting, vaguely troubling film consists of refilmed Lindbergh photographs, many of them unpublished interwoven with excerpts from Tony Richardson's film Mademoiselle.

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Photoshoot of Madonna, 1994.

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Photoshoot of Nicole Kidman for Omega watches

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Photoshoot of Natalie Portman for Vogue US magazine (January 2011)

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Updated16.05.2013 - 16:01