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Herb Ritts Strikes Again

Culture Watch
Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989.

The aesthetic simplicity of famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts’ images, reliant on clean lines and bold forms, often challenged conventional notions of gender and race while contributing to a larger conversation on contemporary culture. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston—whose groundbreaking 1996 retrospective, "Herb Ritts: WORK," remains one of the most popular exhibitions in MFA history—will revisit the artist’s work in detail with a new show, “Herb Ritts.”

Madonna, Tokyo, 1987.

Featuring 52 black-and-white photographs elevating the body to an art form, while exhibiting a masterful use of natural light, “Herb Ritts” is sure to delight viewers. Featured alongside the artist’s photographs will be videos and ephemera from Ritts’ illustrious career, exhibiting the process behind the camera.

Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen, Long Island, 1987.

Beginning his photographic career in the late ’70s and gaining a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography, Herb Ritts was known for his unflinching, sensual black-and-white images celebrating the human body. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ritts became a leading American fashion photographer of supermodels such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, producing portraits and editorial fashion shoots for the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, along with advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gianni Versace, Valentino and others. Ritts’ exposure only continued to increase over his lifetime, as he photographed magazine covers, music videos and commercials.

Naomi Campbell, Face in Hand, Hollywood, 1990.

The Ritts Foundation has provided the MFA with a print of every image in the 1996 exhibition, and in 2007, supported the MFA's first gallery dedicated solely to photography. The MFA Boston now houses the largest museum holdings of Ritts photographs in the world. Don’t miss this chance to catch an expansive photographic survey of a true fashion icon, in an exhibition celebrating art, fashion and celebrity – all in the flash of an instant.


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