Steve Wood: Lost Then Found at South Place Hotel
Lost then Found, hosted by the Turner Barnes Gallery at the South Place Hotel, is a pop up exhibition featuring previously unseen photographic portraits of the celebrity artist Andy Warhol. Taken by British photographer Steve Wood in 1981 at a hotel in the French town of Deauville, they were forgotten about and remained in a filing cabinet in Wood’s home for over 30 years, before being uncovered again in 2012.
The emergence of these images is particularly exciting for many in the art world as, during his lifetime, Warhol was most frequently photographed in his trademark dark sunglasses or with groups of celebrity friends who often gathered at his studio, the Factory.
This rediscovered collection offers a new level of intimacy. In each photograph Warhol is captured alone, often against a white background. Every line on his face is visible, allowing the viewer to study the artist in the way that they might his works of art. Despite the apparent candidness of these pictures, it’s difficult for the viewer to get the feeling that they know Warhol any better than when they entered the room: his facial expression is always blank, leaving his emotions unreadable.
The photographs are clearly beautifully shot with soft lighting and considered compositions and, despite being taken in the early 80s, the minimalist style of the images gives them a more recent feel. There is perhaps something slightly humorous in that some of the shots are slightly reminiscent of the kind of contemporary family portrait offered by many commercial photographers.
The exhibition presents the exciting opportunity to see a selection of prints from the newly found collection which is currently on show in New York. A visit to Lost Then Found is highly recommended for anyone interested in portrait photography or in Warhol himself.
Steve Wood: Lost Then Found is at the South Place Hotel until 12th May 2013. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.