Ossie Clark/Vietnam/1969 © Jim Lee

Jim Lee: Arrested

Free fashion photography exhibition at Somerset House: 16 May – 5 June 2012

Capturing an age of fashion revolution and cultural upheaval, Somerset House hosts an exhibition of the work of Jim Lee, the original wild child of fashion photography, who has collaborated with some of the most celebrated designers of our time, such as Alexander McQueen and Valentino.  One of the pioneers of a new concept of fashion photography based on more than the consumption of the clothes, the exhibition Jim Lee: Arrested brings together a collection of images, films and memorabilia, spanning Lee’s eventful fifty year career, for a limited season in Somerset House’s new East Wing Galleries.

Starting his career by photographing bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Lee rose to fame in the 1960s as a fashion photographer, working with designers at the forefront of the era’s fashion pack, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace and Ossie Clark.  His spreads ran regularly in the national press and fashion magazines, and he developed a close working relationship with Anna Wintour early in her career in the UK, and continued to collaborate with her in New York. 

Lee has also enjoyed an equally successful career directing hundreds of television commercials for a host of fashion and beauty brands like Aquascutum and Elizabeth Arden.  Lee is still involved in a variety of creative projects today, including both editorial and advertising commissions.

Known as England’s answer to Guy Bourdin, Lee’s stylish, theatrical photography is layered with strong narratives.  Taking shoots outside of the studio and creating a story context in which to show the clothes, Lee constantly chose to push the artistic boundaries and produced photography which was considered to be risqué and incited controversy at the time.

The exhibition will coincide with the release of the book of the same name published by Ammonite Press.  Written by Peter York, who worked as style editor of Harpers & Queen for 10 years, the book offers an affectionate insight into the colourful life of his long-time friend alongside some of the images displayed at the Somerset House exhibition.

About Somerset House

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over 2 million visitors to the site, providing a centre for arts and culture in the heart of London, as well as housing numerous creative communities. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, design, art and architecture, family workshops and free guided tours. In September 2009, Somerset House became the new home of London Fashion Week.

Notes to Editors

Jim Lee: Arrested

Opening hours: 16 May – 5 June 2012, daily from 10.00 to 18.00

Address: Somerset House, East Wing Galleries, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Tel: +44 (0)20 7845 4600 www.somersethouse.org.uk

Admission: Free

Transport: Nearest Underground stations: Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment

For press enquiries and image requests, please contact Stephanie Lilley or Josephine Rodrigues on press@somersethouse.org.uk or 0207 845 4619/0207 845 4638


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September 2016
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