V&A reveals more details of its major David Bowie exhibition for Spring 2013

By Culture24 Reporter | 04 September 2012
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a photo of David Bowie with the famous Aladin Sane stripe across his face
Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane. Design by Brian Duffy and Celia Philo, make up by Pierre La Roche (1973)© Duffy Archive
In 2010 they tackled Kylie and this year they even took a tilt at Annie Lennox. Today, the V&A lifted the lid on their next pop star retrospective, revealing more details on their eagerly awaited David Bowie exhibition in spring 2013.

David Bowie is... promises to explore the "creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon " by tracing what the V&A aptly describe as his “shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades”.

The show, which has been put together with sponsorship from Gucci and audio firm Sennheiser, will be the first major international retrospective to tackle his chameleon-like career.

V&A Curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh have enjoyed “unprecedented access” to the David Bowie archive, from which they have plucked more than 300 objects.

Despite recent reports that the reclusive Bowie has distanced himself from their final selection and any notion that he was involved in the show’s curation, fans of the singer should be impressed by the haul.

Included are artworks, lyrics, photographs, set lists, storyboards, diary entries and, of course, costumes, more than 60 of which - including the famous Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (from 1972) and the flamboyant outfits for the Aladdin Sane tour (of 1973) - will take centre stage

Photographs by Brian Duffy, Terry O’Neill and Masayoshi Sukita will also be on show alongside album sleeve artwork, visual excerpts from films and live performances such as The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Saturday Night Live (1979); music videos such as Boys Keep Swinging (1979) and Let’s Dance (1983) and set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974).

Martin Roth, the V&A’s Director said they were “thrilled" to be presenting the first ever exhibition drawn from the David Bowie Archive.

"David Bowie is a true icon,” he added, calling the singer “more relevant to popular culture now than ever."

"His radical innovations across music, theatre, fashion and style still resound today in design and visual culture.

"He continues to inspire artists and designers throughout the world.”

  • David Bowie opens at the V&A on March 23 2013 and runs until July 28 2013.

More pictures:

a photo of David Bowie wearing a falmboyant pantaloon cat suit
Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour. Design by Kansai Yamamoto. Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita (1973)© Sukita / The David Bowie Archive 2012


a black and white photo of David Bowie in an archery pose
The Archer, Station to Station tour. Photograph by John Rowlands (1976)© John Robert Rowlands

a black and white film still with David Bowie looking into a bath with a woman in it
Photo collage of manipulated film stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth. Design by David Bowie, film stills by David James (circa 1975-1976)© Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012. Film stills © STUDIOCANAL Films Ltd

a coloured contact sheet of David Bowie next to William S Burroughs
David Bowie and William Burroughs. Photograph by Terry O’Neill. Hand colouring by David Bowie (1974)© Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012. Image © V&A Images

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