The Photographer’s Gallery pays tribute to the legendary fashion photographer in an extensive retrospective of his work.
With a career spanning nearly 40 years it’s pretty safe to assume that acclaimed fashion photographer Terence Donovan saw a mass evolution in style and cultural diversity. Born into a working class family in London’s East End, Donovan found himself immersed in a visual world from a young age, starting with an apprenticeship at the London School of Photo-Engraving at just 11-years-old, before leaving to become a photographer’s assistant. Astoundingly he opened up his own studio in 1959 at the age of 22. Donovan’s eye for detail meant he soon caught the attention of leading fashion magazines of the time – you may even heard of a few – Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle are just a few examples.
Despite being highly sought after by leading publications, Donovan’s aesthetic remained the same, his gritty, industrialised, almost reportage-like photographs taken in the streets of his native East London are still as prominent in today’s fashion magazines as they were during their inception in the 1960s. The Photographer’s Gallery, in partnership with global technology company Ricoh, will showcase some of Donovan’s most inspiring pieces, both editorial and commercial, in an extensive retrospective of his life and works.
“Photography fascinates me. Instant fascination every time. When the fascination leaves me, I’ll give it up.” - Speaking to Jean Shrimpton in 1963.
From his post-war renaissance beginnings Speed of Light (a phrase commonly used by Donovan) will feature a wealth of archival material and previously unpublished works, including photographs, film and ephemera – such as early magazine spreads from Man About Town, as well as contact sheets, cameras and sketches. Pioneering films and videos captured towards the end of his career will also be displayed, most notably his collaborations with musicians Robert Palmer and Malcolm McLaren.
15 July - 25 September 2016; thephotographersgallery.org.uk