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Bailey’s Stardust - National Portrait Gallery

Exhibition preview

BAILEY’S Stardust, a landmark exhibition of portraits by one of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive photographers, David Bailey, will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from February 6 to June 1, 2014.

Over 250 images, personally selected and printed by Bailey, will be presented thematically across a series of contrasting rooms and will illustrate the extraordinary range of subjects that he has captured throughout his career: actors, writers, musicians, filmmakers, designers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels; many of them famous, some anonymous, all of them unforgettable.

A catalogue (pictured) will accompany the exhibition.

Like the exhibition, it is structured thematically, with iconic image presented alongside many lesser-known and previously unseen portraits, and includes an illuminating introduction by the art historian Tim Marlow.

Initially engaged as an assistant to John French in 1959, Bailey was contracted by British Vogue the following year. He has since worked for the French, Italian and American editions of the magazine, created album sleeves for major recording artists such as the Rolling Stones, directed television commercials, and made documentary films, including in-depth studies of Cecil Beaton, Luchino Visconti and Andy Warhol.

Bailey’s photographs helped to define the cultural and social scene of the 1960s, and immortalising figures from the worlds of fashion, music, film and art soon elevated Bailey to the status of celebrity himself. Antonioni’s cult film Blow-up (1966), about a London fashion photographer, was inspired by Bailey, whose life was also dramatised recently in the BBC film We’ll Take Manhattan (2012), which tells the story of his 1962 New York fashion shoot with the model Jean Shrimpton.

Elizabeth I & Her People continues at the National Portrait Gallery until January 5, 2014.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Tel: 020 7306 0055

Website: www.npg.org.uk/