Roxanne Lowit: “Toujours Glamour” at Izzy Gallery in Toronto

Roxanne Lowit’s new exhibition “Toujours Glamour,” at Izzy Gallery in Toronto documents three decades worth of photographs celebrating “people with magic,” a phrase Lowit employs to describe the fabulous faces of fashion. The glitz, the glamour — the raw excitement in these photos— are less paparazzi-inspired and more high-level artistry that warm you up in a seemingly effortless way.

Lowit’s behind-the-scenes photographs award the viewer access to people like Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Anna Wintour, and supermodels from the Paris, London and New York runways, including Kate Moss, who Lowit has named one of her favorite muses. “I like capturing your ‘Je ne sais quoi,’” she recently said in a tweet to Kate, who is featured in the new exhibition at the Izzy Gallery getting primped and admired by Tom Ford. The photo of Kate captures her in an  intoxicatingly rich moment that feels strangely fleeting — as if you’ll blink and miss it — even as you continue to stare and gasp at your good luck for getting so close to the action. Lowit’s most recent exhibition in New York at the Steven Kasher Gallery in December and January featured a mini-retrospective that included over 40 vintage and modern black and white photographs and was hailed for its success in turning a snapshot into high art.


Lowit, who wears her dark hair in a bob that frames a face dominated by black rimmed glasses and bright red lips, is a native New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan. She said she wore all black in high school and befriended the artists and creatives in her peer pool before heading to the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she focused on textile design, and worked with people like Donna Karan. Her first camera was an Instamatic 110 but she  switched to a 35-millimeter after Soho News offered her a coveted assignment with the caveat that she had to upgrade her camera. She agreed and read the camera’s operating instructions on the plane that would bring her to Paris where she photographed Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol on top of the Eiffel Tower. This would be the first of many photographs of Warhol and countless personalities who define much of Lowit’s work. Her work is less voyeuristic and more a celebration of people who not only like being photographed, but find true pleasure in playing and flirting with the camera.

Lowit recently told Interview about the time Warhol opened up to her. She remembers he reached into his two pockets and pulled out two cameras — a black-and-white camera and a color camera. He then admitted that, yes, he had learned something from her. Always be prepared. Before digital and selfies, Lowit was fearlessly pushing through the proverbial velvet rope and experimenting with techniques that have become visual time capsules. It’s a treat to join the party.

This exhibition runs from February 13th, 2014 until March 15, 2014.

Text by Molly MacDermot


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Musée's NYFW update