Chicago Photo Forum
A Leap of Faith
A Leap of Faith
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A Remembrance with Dr. Rebecca Senf
July 7, 2023, Sun Valley, ID
L’Anne Gilman and Rodney Smith just “got” each other. It was a relationship all artists hope to have with their gallerists — one of support, trust and love. And that relationship transcended Rodney’s passing. “Leap of Faith”, an exhibition at Gilman Contemporary gathered together Rodney’s many fans, including L’Anne, Getty photography curator Paul Martineau and Leslie Smolan to discuss how the artists work continues to impact fashion photography history to this day.
May 21, 2023, Los Angeles
To launch the new Getty publication Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith, a distinguished panel including the book’s author and Getty curator Paul Martineau, Center for Creative Photography’s Chief Curator Rebecca Senf, Smith’s wife and creative partner Leslie Smolan, and Fahey Klein Gallery owner David Fahey discussed Smith’s imaginative and alluring photographs and his evolution as an artist. “What a FANTASTIC panel discussion today – best I’ve seen in a LONG while. I definitely could have listened to all of you discuss Rodney Smith’s life and legacy for a good few hours more.”
Journalist Elin Spring writes, “While his name may not be as familiar as Irving Penn or Richard Avedon, his distinctive images are instantly recognizable. Playful and alluring, sophisticated and stylish, Rodney Smith’s trendsetting photographs belie his complex and unsettled character. A radiant retrospective of his work is being celebrated in “A Leap of Faith” solo exhibition at Robert Klein Gallery in Boston through June 30th, 2023 and in the book recently published by J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.”
“We just had the opportunity to revisit the prints — they are simply beautiful. We look forward to putting new acquisitions up in the galleries relatively soon after we acquire them. It’s a wonderful way to introduce the work to our community.”
ANJULI LEBOWITZ, JUDY GLICKMAN LAUDER ASSOCIATE CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART
Smith’s meticulous homage to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres famous 1814 painting Le Grande Odalisque (click here) celebrates the naked form and also highlights the anatomical inaccuracies depicted in Ingres’ work. The distortion and elongation of the model’s body and arm in the painting were harshly criticized when it debuted and Ingres’ priority of sensuality over accuracy is one of the reasons this artwork is often mentioned in discussions about the depiction of femininity and female nudity in art.
Rosemary Feitelberg at WWD writes, “Nearly five years after the anniversary of the death of photographer Rodney Smith, there is a renewed appreciation for his work.
Hermès used several of his images as the centerpiece for its holiday campaign and the J. Paul Getty Museum is acquiring 10 of his works for its permanent collection. The Rodney Smith Estate will be leading a series of virtual discussions starting Dec. 8 with “What Makes Fashion Photography Art.””
What Makes Fashion Photography Art
Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6 PM EST Zoom Webinar
Join us as Paul Martineau, Curator of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, hosts a discussion on photographs that transcend their origins to be collected by Museums.
Paul Martineau has been one of the world’s foremost advocates in acknowledging the importance and impact of fashion photography on our lives. Leading the acquisition of Rodney Smith’s photographs for inclusion in the permanent collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Martineau will host a conversation with Etheleen Staley, Founder, Staley Wise Gallery, Viktória Vámosi, International Model, and Dennis Freedman, Founding Creative Director of W Magazine to discuss what makes Smith’s images transcend their original commission.
Life imitates art. Amidst a wave of Coronavirus self-quarantining, international fans recreate Rodney Smith’s iconic images at home.
Inspiration or infringement? Rodney Smith’s photographs have entered the public zeitgeist. Spanning the globe, his largest group of instagram followers comes from Russia, Italy and the United States. Have some enthusiastic fans taken this a step too far?
BARBARA BARRY, INTERIOR DESIGNER
FREDIE ADELMAN, DIRECTOR, SMITHSONIAN ASSOCIATES
JARED BARK, FOUNDER, BARK FRAMEWORKS
COLORFUL WORLD: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RODNEY SMITH AT AIPAD!