Philippe Garner: Summer – Seventies – Saint-Tropez

Hamiltons Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition titled “Summer – Seventies – Saint-Tropez,” marking Philippe Garner’s debut solo photography exhibition. Garner is a renowned figure in the world of photography, celebrated for his five-decade career as an auction specialist and historian. The showcased photographs, all captured on Kodachrome film, known for its vibrant color saturation, transport viewers back half a century to rediscover the forgotten charm of old Provence, particularly in and around Aix-en-Provence, Garner’s place of birth. Additionally, a discreet collection of images from the iconic La Voile Rouge beach in Saint-Tropez captures the essence of its bohemian, chic heyday.
Garner reminisces, “I was twenty-three when I took the first of these pictures. Reflecting on those years, I remember my unwavering determination to create images that encapsulated everything that fascinated me. My childhood and teenage years were largely spent in the South of France, primarily in Aix-en-Provence, where my grandmother resided. This region, including Marseille and the coastal towns east of Marseille and their surroundings, held significant meaning in my life. In the Seventies, armed with a camera, I was able to capture my fascination with subjects like the handcrafted typography of commercial signs, the weathered remnants of a fading Provence, the qualities of summer light, and the sensuous textures of peeling paint, food, and sun-kissed skin. It was crucial for me, as it still is today, that the technical aspect of photography remained simple. My ongoing challenge has been to identify and frame the exact subject that could perfectly convey my curiosity and sensibility.”

A portrait of Philippe Garner

About the Author

Garner (born 1949) has enjoyed a long career as an auction specialist in the fields of photographs and 20th-century decorative arts and design. He joined Sotheby’s in 1970 after graduating in French and Latin from Bedford College, London. He was instrumental in establishing the modern auction market for photographs. He joined Christie’s in 2004, retiring from his full-time commitments as a deputy chairman in 2016 to become a consultant. He continues to play a valued role in bringing major works and collections to auction. Since his childhood, Garner has been fascinated by many aspects of the visual and performing arts. As a consequence, his specific knowledge as a specialist in the history of photography is supported by a wide and rich culture. All this has served to inform and refine his discriminating eye, not only within his professional activity but in the passion that he has invested through the decades in making photographs – a passion that he had, until very recently, kept private.


Philippe Garner: Summer – Seventies – Saint-Tropez
4 September – 4 October 2023
Hamiltons Gallery – London – UK

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