In Review

Horst: Photographer of Style - 'magical' fashion photos at V&A

Survey of Horst P. Horst's photos immerses viewers in a world of dreamy elegance

What you need to know 

A new exhibition of photographs by Horst P Horst has opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Horst: Photographer of Style surveys the 60-year career of the German born, American-based Vogue photographer whose images appeared under the by-line 'Horst'.

The show includes images from Horst's fashion shoots for French, British and American Vogue, portraits of Hollywood stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis, his artistic collaborations with Salvador Dali and his many interior shoots from the homes of Jackie Onassis to Andy Warhol, as well as his lesser known travel and personal photographs. Runs until 4 January.

What the critics like

"Horst's images exude warmth and sensuality", with a drama tempered by a joyfulness and often a dose of humour, says Nancy Durrant in The Times. The show reveals both his beguiling style and superb aesthetic, and you exit feeling - or wishing - you knew him.

Horsts portraits are gold standard, and his fashion images and nudes are unequalled for their sculptural beauty, but "perhaps his most enduring legacy is the rare, ineffable, quality that quietly resonates in his work: glamour", says Charlotte Sinclair in the Financial Times. This exhibition is akin to taking a bath in the stuff.

Escape to the V&A and "immerse yourself in the dreamy elegance of Horst P Horst's magical fashion photographs", says Sarah Kent on the Arts Desk. Horst's acute visual sensibility allowed him to create images that, no matter how apparently trivial, were somehow able to capture the zeitgeist.

What they don't like

Horst's work has never been taken entirely seriously by austere historians of photography who find him "too glib and superficial to be serious", says Stephen Bailey in the Daily Telegraph. It's true that subversion and criticism play no part in his world-view, but he created memorably beautiful images that are a victory of style over substance.

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