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Bernal Espacio : Deborah Turbeville : The Power of Female Gaze


This October marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of the prominent American photographer  Deborah Turbeville. To commemorate this event, the Bernal Espacio Galería will present  “Deborah Turbeville: The Power of the Female Gaze”: a solo exhibition of over thirty lifetime  works, exhibited for the very first time in Spain.  

The exhibition will provide an overview of the artist’s life long career, showcasing pieces from her  famous Bathhouse series (1975), École des Beaux Arts (1977), Unseen Versailles (1980) and  much more.

Deborah Turbeville introduces a very different representation of feminine beauty from the highly  sexualized works of her male contemporaries: the female gaze. Her images are evocative,  difficult to date at first glance and appear dreamlike to our twenty-first-century eyes.

In early November, the Photo Elysée Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, will inaugurate  “Deborah Turbeville:Photocollage” : a major retrospective of Deborah Turbeville’s work curated  by Nathalie Herschdorfer. The retrospective will coincide with the release of a new monograph by  the same title, published by Thames and Hudson.

The exhibition “Deborah Turbeville: The Power of the Female Gaze” is produced in collaboration  with the MUUS Collection, owner and custodians of the Deborah Turbeville Estate, and the  curatorial assistance of Lucrezia di Martino, Director of Partnerships at MUUS Collection.


Deborah Turbeville’s (1932, Stoneham, Massachusetts – 2013, NY) photographs  possess an enigmatic allure, evoking a sense of melancholy and mystery. With  her unique artistic vision, Turbeville weaved a visual narrative that transports  viewers to ethereal realms where time stands still and emotions are palpable.

Through the use of muted tones, soft lighting, and introspective  compositions, Turbeville captures the essence of solitude and introspection, inviting viewers  to contemplate the depths of the human experience. Her photographs are beautifully  unsettling, resonating with a sense of longing and a profound connection to the human  psyche. Each image tells a story, leaving an indelible impression on the observer and  reminding us of the power of visual storytelling.

Turberville began her career as a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in the 1960s but soon  shifted her focus to photography. Her work was characterized by a dreamlike quality,  with softly focused images and a muted color palette. She often used unconventional  locations and settings, such as abandoned buildings, to create a sense of mystery  and drama in her photographs.

In addition to her distinctive visual style, Turberville has also been praised for her ability  to create images that are simultaneously beautiful and evocative, conveying a sense of  nostalgia and melancholy. Her photographs often contain a feeling of solitude  and isolation, leading some to interpret her work as a reflection on human vulnerability  and the transience of beauty.

American photographer Deborah Turbeville defies classification. She belongs to no school  nor movement. Her unique visual signature has been recognizable since her emergence as  a major talent in the 1970s.

Today, Turberville is considered one of the most influential fashion photographers of the  20th century, and her unique style continues to inspire photographers and  designers worldwide.



More information

Deborah Turbeville – The Power of Female Gaze
Calle San Lorenzo, 3., Madrid, Spain
From October 4, 2023 to October 28, 2023

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