Hiro at Pace/Macgill Gallery
Image above: ©Hiro, Black Evening Dress in Flight, New York, 1963
Image above: ©Fernando Sandoval, Opening Night
New York, February 12, 2016 – Pace/MacGill Gallery presents a retrospective exhibition of photographs by Hiro. Featuringcolor fashion images from the 1960s and 70s, celebrity portraits, and personal work projects, Hiro celebrates the originality of vision, technical innovation, and precision of execution that mark the photographer’s distinguished and enduring career.
Image above: ©Hiro, Robotic Hand, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1986
Born Yasuhiro Wakabayashi to Japanese parents in Shanghai in 1930, Hiro arrived in New York City in 1954, where he began his photographic training as an assistant to Richard Avedon. Through Avedon’s introduction, he started working under renowned art director Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar in 1956. Hiro’s fashion and editorial career quickly flourished, and by 1963 he was the only photographer under contract with the magazine – a position he enjoyed for the next ten years. Now in his mid-80s and no longer under contract, Hiro continues to take assignments with the magazine that reinforce his status as a creative conceptualist and exquisite craftsman.
Image above: ©Hiro, Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah, July 23, 1973
Infused with an elegant sense of Surrealism, Hiro's images embrace the use of bold color, dynamic design, experimental lighting, and unconventional compositional juxtapositions to transport viewers to illusory realms where the boundaries between genres disappear. Whether photographing The Rolling Stones, Tokyo subway commuters, fighting fish, the 1969 Apollo 11 spaceship launch, or a baby’s foot, Hiro approaches his subjects with a distinctly metamorphic vision. As Mark Holborn observes of the photographer’s practice in the 1999 monograph, Hiro: Photographs by Hiro:
"In Hiro’s world everything is new. The most mundane objects or the most delicate features are transformed. A toenail, the pupil of an eye, a mouth or a light-switch are seen with the same concentration. Concentration is Hiro’s most obvious quality. When he takes the whole theater of fashion to the beach, he returns with a metaphysical contemplation."
Image above: ©Hiro, Harry Winston Necklace, New York, 1963
Hiro’s photographs are held in the permanent collections of institutions worldwide, including George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Kobe Fashion Museum, Japan; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others. The first solo exhibition of his work in a major American institution, Hiro: Photographs, is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through August 2016.