Between Art and Fashion


Photographs from the Collection of Carla Sozzani

It is rare for a museum to dedicate an exhibition to a private collection. Generally, it is a matter of borrowing a work of art here or there, and discretely indicating the name of the generous lender if the latter does not wish to remain anonymous. With this exhibition, Carla Sozzani, a legendary figure of contemporary elegance, welcomes us into her intimate space. Her collection of photographs, which covers the 20th and 21st centuries, is remarkable in all respects. More than 70 photographs are represented among the 200 prints selected by Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. We find in the show some of the greatest names – Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst, William Klein, Man Ray, László Moholy- Nagy, Don McCullin, Daido Moriyama, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Paolo Roversi, Alfred Stieglitz – and numerous female photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Dominique Issermann, Sheila Metzner, Sarah Moon, Leni Riefenstahl and Francesca Woodman.

Photography nourished Carla Sozzani from the very beginning of her career, and her collection was enriched over the course of many encounters and several years. Playing a fundamental role in fashion since the early 1970s, Carla Sozzani collaborated with numerous photographers while she was editor in chief of special editions of Vogue Italia, and continued to do so after she founded Italian ELLE. Known for her sharp eye and her aesthetic sense, she participates in the journeys of numerous creators.  In 1990, she founded the Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan, where she mainly exhibits photography. Then, the following year, she founded 10 Corso Como, the very first concept store, which has since then been deployed in Seoul, Shanghai, Peking, and will soon open in New York. The richness of this collection unveils an intelligent, sensitive, cultivated, persevering, and beauty-loving personality. We find in it many icons but also images that are unknown, unusual, and that awe us. This exceptional exhibition was born of the will of couturier Azzedine Alaïa, who belongs to Carla Sozzani’s intimate circle, and who presented this collection in her Parisian gallery last winter.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Fondazione Sozzani, Milan, and is accompanied by a publication, available in French and English.