Au Chien Qui Fume, Jardin des Modes, Paris, 1957
Edition of 30
91.12 x 61.6 cm
Courtesy the artist
Frank Horvat revolutionised fashion photography, moving it from the confines of the studio and out into shops, bars and the street. In the early 1950s, after travelling to Pakistan and India as a freelance photographer, Horvat settled in London, working for Life Magazine and Picture Post. In 1955, the same year his work was first shown in the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark exhibition The Family of Man, Horvat moved to Paris where he started focusing on fashion photography. He joined Magnum Photos as an associate photographer from 1958-1961.
Au Chien Qui Fume is a testament to the artist’s early, transformative inventiveness. First appearing in the French haute couture magazine Jardin des Modes, Au Chien Qui Fume upends all conventions of fashion photography; the shot is ornately detailed, set in a bar populated with patrons. Dishes litter the curved countertop and chic architecture converges with the quaint décor, lending the image a vivacious energy. Even so, the model emerges unruffled from the visual clamour, her cocktail dress drawing the admiring gazes of fellow diners. In its compositional ingenuity alone, Au Chien Qui Fume is truly a remarkable photograph.
Throughout his distinguished career, Frank Horvat (b. 1928, Abbazia, Italy) has worked for major publications including Jardin des Modes, Elle, Glamour, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Horvat also collaborated with important designers such as Coco Chanel and Givenchy, as well as the Parisian nightclubs Le Sphinx and Crazy Horse. His work has been included in major group exhibitions, including Fashion Photographs (1985) at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK and Vanités (1993), Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France. In 2012, Presentation House Gallery held a major solo exhibition Horvat: Fashion, curated by New Yorker photography critic Vince Aletti. His fashion work is the subject of a major monograph released by Hatje Cantz this year.