Deborah Turbeville | Assemblage

20 January - 2 March 2024 

Exhibition Dates: January 20 – February 17, 2024


Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Assemblage”, work by American artist and photographer Deborah Turbeville (b. 1932 Boston, MA; d. 2013, New York, NY) on display in our Reading Room Gallery. This exhibition is in celebration of an exhibition of her work at The Image Centre, Toronto Metropolitan Universityentitled “Otherworldly: Deborah Turbeville Photographs”. Our exhibition will concentrate on her work with collage, the subject of a recent publication by Thames & Hudson, titled Photocollage highlighting work from MUUS Collection, curated by Natalie Herschdorfer.

A trailblazing artist and photographer, Turbeville’s fashion photography was featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Nova and The New York Times, and for fashion labels including Comme des Garçons, Guy Laroche and Charles Jordan. Her work is collected by major institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.
Turbeville’s work is difficult to categorize. In the 1970s, her work broke new ground in the world of fashion photography. Eschewing the industry’s obsession with presenting ‘the new’, Turbeville created timeless images that rejected the dominant male gaze and offered fantastical neoclassical settings wherein models were captured, seemingly unaware. Instead of preening for the camera, Turbeville’s models concealed more than they revealed, charging her photographs with a heightened sense of narrative. Her use of soft focus, selective focus, and blur, further removed the clothing as the dominant subject and enabled the viewer to enter an ethereal state, permeated with a sense of desire.
Turbeville’s unconventional images were made more mysterious when woven together into sequences through Turbeville’s practice of collage. Held together by tape and pins, her photographs appear precarious in their presentation, adding a fragile preciousness to her images that enhance these objects into something even more sublime. These rare objects are imbued with an unmistakable essence that confirms Deborah Turbeville’s unique talent and importance.


Related Events for “Otherworldly” taking place at The Image Centre | 33 Gould Street, Toronto:


Winter Exhibitions Opening Party
January 16, 2024 | 7:30–9:30 pm


Exhibition Tour
Denise Birkhofer with Eve Townsend; Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 6 pm


Tanenbaum Lecture
Nathalie Herschdorfer; Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 6 pm; Location TBC