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Jeanloup Sieff: Grace in black & white
“Time is the essence of all photography: time that slips between one’s fingers, time that slips between the eyes, the time of things and the time of people, the time of light and the time of emotions…time that will never by the same again...”  (J. Sieff)
The Moderna Museet of Stockholm is organizing a retrospective on the work of French photographer Jeanloup Sieff (1933-2000). The exhibition celebrates his photographic skills with a choice of shots which reveals one of his greatest and less well-known passions: dance.
The 53 photos taken between 1959 and 1996, show the deep love the photographer had for the art of ballet.


Sieff made it a leit motiv og his work to capture the essence of dancing bodies and the energy of motion. The artist discovered dance in 1953 when he began to photograph dancers in the School of Photography in Vevey, Switzerland. He became fascinated by the dancers’ long, lean bodies and muscles, the smell of perspiration and the shuffling sound of dance shoes across the floor. What he sought to capture then was the daily routine led by the dancers, traceable in the physical effort and the painful struggle for unexpected movements. Thus the dance became a perpetual theme throughout Sieff’s career. Jeanloup Sieff as a youngster  fell in love with these women, and it is only a short step distancing dance photography with nudes. The woman is not only admired, moreover she is celebrated. The portraits of nude are enveloped by a fabric shade that caresses the body of thin models, enhancing the refined eroticism and building a paculiar geometry of forms.


Sieff was born in Paris to parents of Polish origin. His interest in photography was first piqued when he received a Photax plastic camera aged fourteen as a birthday gift. He began the photographic profession as a reporter in the early 1950s. During his long career he focused on reportages, landscape, fashion, commercial and portrait photography. During the 60s he worked for major fashion magazines in Europe and the United States, of the caliber of Glamour, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He photographed many celebrities, among them Rudolf Nureyev, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, and especially people of French cinema, the so called “nouvelle vague” personalities, including Jean-Claude Brialy, François Truffaut and Jean Seberg.

curated by roberta fratini
show visited on March, the 19th, 2011

From February 11th to May 22nd, 2011
Jeanloup Sieff - Photographic Formations
Moderna Museet, Island of Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
Opening Hours: Tuesdays 10-20, Wednesdays to Sundays 10-18, Mondays closed
Entrance: 100/80 SEK


Reserved Reproduction