Hamiltons Gallery’s exhibition ‘The Great and The Good’ presents a specially curated group of photographs by the gallery’s represented artists. Visitors will recognise classic pictures by the likes of Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon alongside innovative, contemporary images by photographers such as Sir Don McCullin, Christopher Thomas, and Mario Testino. In its entirety, the exhibition reveals the photography’s capacity to communicate timeless beauty whilst challenging the way we see the world.

Hiro was a Japanese-American commercial photographer renowned for his fashion and still life photography for leading magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Rolling Stone. He was one of the longest-serving photographers of his generation, working from the 1950’s until his passing in August 2021. Hiro’s photographic style was unlike anything that had ever been seen before – his imagination led him to create experimental compositions which featured bold colours, unique angles, and a masterful use of light as seen in this image Balenciaga, Four-Sided Dress, 1967. This print exemplifies the minimalist, yet creative, and technically precise style for which Hiro was renowned. More particularly, the print was used to illustrate The Victoria & Albert Museum’s Balenciaga retrospective exhibition in 2017.

Herb Ritts gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography through the 1990’s. In his life and work, Ritts was drawn to clean lines, natural light and strong forms. In the early 1990’s he took his first trip to the African continent where he became fascinated with similarity of the desert light to that of his native Los Angeles. He also found opportunities to relay line and form in a way that is aesthetically similar to his pictures of men and women in the California landscape, but with almost no intervention. The natural assimilation of Ritts’ aesthetic to the African desert can be seen in this magnificent image, ‘Darati - Profile, Africa, 1993’ which evokes beauty through the model’s coalescence with the landscape. Ritts’ trips to Africa culminated in a quickly sold-out book of 75 duo-tone images originally published in 1994.

Hamiltons Gallery has represented Sir Don McCullin for over thirty years. McCullin is arguably Great Britain’s most renowned photojournalist having documented many major conflicts of the 20th and 21st Century since the 1960s. His lifetime contribution to photojournalism continues today and lives on in the collection of many museums. In his later years, McCullin has found solace in photographing the English Country side, and more recently little known views from his international travels. This image, ‘The Extreme Arctic’, was taken on a trip to Svalbard, Norway in 2019. McCullin welcomed the challenging experience of total isolation in the frozen arctic landscape, seeking to convey the mysterious quality of the light in this part of the world. As with most of McCullin’s landscape images, the image presents us simultaneously with overwhelming beauty and reminds us of the fragility of our natural environment.