Helsinki City Art Museum presents
photographs by the Jamaican-born Edward Lucie-Smith (b. 1933. Currently
living in London, Lucie-Smith has a reputation as the most-renowned
author on art history in the world. The exhibition in the Kluuvi
Gallery presents less familiar works by Lucie-Smith: bold erotic
Edward Lucie-Smith has published more than a hundred books during
his career, more than sixty books about art and is generally regarded
as both the most prolific and the most widely published writer on
art in the world. He is not only internationally known as an art
critic and historian, but is also a published poet and anthologist.
A number of his art books are used as standard texts throughout
the world. In the 1960s, he also began photographing.
During the last ten years Lucie-Smith has increased his practise
as a photographer and has exhibited worldwide. Nowadays the artist
uses a digital camera and produces his own prints.
The 36 photographic works in the exhibition are predominantly close-up
candid shots of nude male subjects evoking the compositions of the
Old Masters, in particular Baroque traditions in painting and sculpture.
The moods of Lucie-Smith’s photographs are sometimes erotic,
sometimes sensual, sometimes humorous, or sometimes even voyeuristic.
He does not play with light, whether working with black-and-white
or colour. Instead, he lets natural light and lighting create their
own character as he moves with his camera around his subjects.
Lucie-Smith develops a recognisable empathy towards his subjects;
on the one level through the radical cropping or intimate compositions
of his subjects, and on the other in the titles of the works, since
more often than not the models are acknowledged by their first name.
Locations are also important in the titles, illustrating time and
place, further exemplifying the artist’s receptiveness to
new people, places and situations. In this exhibition alone there
are photos made on location in London, New Orleans, Amsterdam, New
Mexico, Venice, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and also Helsinki.
In the words of Lucie-Smith, "How do I want these pictures
to be seen? I want them to be mysterious, ambiguous, perhaps troubling,
maybe occasionally shocking. Memorable, I hope – but how can
one know what will stick in people’s minds? I want them to
encourage people to look again the way in which they see and interpret
For a more detailed CV and information on the artist’s publications
visit the artist's website.