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Form and Fashion.
Photographs by Sheila Metzner. Text by Ralph Lauren and M. Raven Metzner.
Arena Editions, Santa Fe, 2001. In English. 200 pp., 130 four-color illustrations, 9½x12".

Publisher's Description

Out of Print.

New in original shrink wrap.

In Sheila Metzner's photographs, beauty is truly more than skin-deep. She is known for creating rich and refined images for the fashion and television industries, and her textural surfaces and attention to aesthetics have made her work popular since the 1970s with clients as diverse as Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, and Victoria's Secret. Recasting history for her own demands, Metzner hovers between the pictorialist aesthetic of Alfred Stieglitz or Edward Steichen and the modernist edge of such photographers as Man Ray and Charles Sheeler. The end results, while paying homage, are uniquely Metzner's own and have left a major impression on the history of photography.

The transcendent quality of many of Metzner's photographs is enhanced by a printing process invented by the Fresson family in 1895 and still practiced in the family's atelier outside of Paris. Creating using the Fresson process—a painterly approach known as process de charbon, that incorporates up to seven pigment colors—many of the images presented here reveal a tonal range and color saturation that is ethereal and magical. Metzner is one of just ten American photographers with whom the Atelier Fresson is willing to work, and Form and Fashion artfully presents some of the results of this creative collaboration. These images, as well as Metzner's work in Polaroid and gelatin silver, show an artist in constant quest for the ideal forms of beauty.

Form and Fashion presents a generous commingling of Metzner's fashion work with her sensual and erotic nudes and formalist still lifes created between 1980 and 2000. The effect of this retrospective juxtaposition suggests a heady romanticism balanced by her precisionist style and sense of detail. For the very first time, Form and Fashion presents the singularity of Metzner's creative mind, showcasing images that resound on their own terms with elegance and distinction.

Metzner's photographs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Chrysler Museum, the Agfa and Polaroid Corporations, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the Norton, as well as in many personal collections.

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