George Hoyningen-Huene was born into a privileged world of the Russian aristocracy at the turn of the century [b. 1900]. In Paris, as a refugee from the [Russian] Revolution, he worked for Vogue, first as an illustrator and then as a supremely successful fashion photographer. Confidently, even imperiously, he created unprecedented images of perfect elegance by means of models, clothes and, above all, the manipulation of light. Moving in the 1930s to Harper's Bazaar, he extended his range to portraiture and travel, capturing artists, composers, Hollywood stars and the landscapes of Africa, Greece, Egypt and Mexico in timeless visions of classical harmony. [In addition to photography, Hoyningen-Huene also pursued a career as a color coordinator for George Cukor and other film directors in Hollywood in the 1950s and 60s.]
Hoyningen-Huene was fond of quoting a remark by Coco Chanel: "L'Elégance c'est moi." It applies perfectly to his own work, some of the finest and most influential photography of the twentieth century.
Reprinted from The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene, by William A. Ewing. Thames and Hudson, London, United Kingdom, 1986.