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25-01-2015
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Peter Knapp - Photographer


Peter Knapp was born in 1932 in Bäretswil, Switzerland. He studied graphic design in Zurich and talented in painting continue his studies in Paris. Knapp left Switzerland in 1952 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His skills as a page designer and his research into typography, quickly attracted attention.

At age 25, he landed a position as artistic director of the famous Parisian department store Les Galeries Lafayette where he was in charge of advertising and window displays. Later, Hélène Lazareff, the founder of Elle magazine, first hired him as editor at Le Nouveau Femina and their collaboration then continued with Knapp hired as the artistic director of the magazine Elle, in 1959. At Elle , he worked with some of the biggest names in fashion photography, such as Jeanloup Sieff, Sarah Moon, and Olivier Toscani and also took photographs himself. Knapp left the magazine in 1966, but returned in 1974 as its art director.

The strength of his fashion photographs for designers such as Courrèges, Unagaro, Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent, Montana, and Mugler relied upon the quality of his personal interaction with his models. Knapp worked for almost twenty-five years with the couturier Andre Courreges. Whether it be painting, filmmaking, graphic design, or photography, Knapp's taste for experimentation has always been pronounced. Knapp innovated techniques for creating images such as filming in 16mm to extract photogrammes, which he then published in the magazine.

He was innovative exhibiting his photographs; Knapp was one of the first artists to display large color photographs in galleries, at a time when most photographers were working in the more traditional format of black and white. In his layouts, text and image are telescoped together to form large visual compositions. The title runs right across the double page, while the model appears to break out of the picture frame. Knapp also loved the medium of film, and in 1966, he embarked on a series of short films devoted to fashion for the television programme "Dim Dam Dom," made by Daisy de Galard from Elle. One of his more recent films recounts the last days Vincent Van Gogh spent at Auvers-sur-Oise.

Drawing on ‘primitive’ art and the decorative arts, Peter Knapp was passionate about creating images. Influenced by the creations of Alexey Brodovitch, he sought to inject artistic creativity into this mainstream magazine. Knapp worked with famous models such as Jean Shrimpton. Peter Knapp draws inspiration from several themes, including the sky, its colors, and the events that can occur to interrupt its unity. After his lengthy collaboration with Elle and other magazines such as Stern, Vogue and the Sunday Times Magazine, he gradually focused more on his personal work retaining an interest in page design.

He was involved in a range of publishing projects, including the astonishing encyclopedia entitled "Le Livre de la Santé" ("The Book of Health", 1967) whose pages he designed using the work of famous illustrators and photographers; a totally unexpected approach in this type of book. He designed the page layout for a number of art books, including an award-winning book on Giacometti in 1991, and also worked with the Editions du Centre Pompidou on a collection entitled "Contemporains". Also Peter Knapp: La Passion des images which included black-an-white fashion shots illustrating his fashion career from the 60s through the 80s.

At 78, Peter Knapp is still very active traveling from France, to Switzerland, to New York, where he continues his artistic work.

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25-01-2015
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Vogue Italia July/August 1973
Non Si Porteranno Solo A Parigi Pt.1
Photo Peter Knapp
Models Emmanuelle & Charly Stember
Hair Régis



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Non Si Porteranno Solo A Parigi Pt.2



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Vogue Italia October 1973
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Ann Schaufuss


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Vogue Paris November 1972
Ski De Descente 73
Photo Peter Knapp
Models Unknown




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UK Vogue October 1, 1971
New Beauty Hope
Photo Peter Knapp
Models Apollonia van Ravenstein & Susan Moncur
Hair Didier Malige
Makeup Serge Lutens


Scans by Freja

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UK Vogue October 1, 1971
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Susan Moncur


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UK Vogue October 15, 1971
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Apollonia van Ravenstein


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UK Vogue March 1st, 1972
Take Away Paris: Saint Laurent
Photo Peter Knapp
Models Ingmari Lamy, Apollonia van Ravenstein & Donna Jordan
Hair Jean-Louis David




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UK Vogue March 1st, 1972
Take Away Paris
Photo Peter Knapp & Arthur Elgort
Models Unknown


Scans by Freja

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Vogue Italia September 1967
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Benedetta Barzini


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UK Vogue November 1971
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Christiana Steidten


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French Elle
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Unknown


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Paris Vogue July
Photo Peter Knapp
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peterknappphotography.com

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Elle France 20 September 1963
Photo Peter Knapp
Model Unknown


peterknappphotography.com

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