Linda McCartney: Retrospective 1965-1997

February 26, 2014By Claudia BarbieriWhat's New Art & Culture

Paris Update Art Notes


Paris Update Linda McCartney

“Martha My Dear, London, 1968.” © 1968 Paul McCartney/Photographer: Linda McCartney

Linda McCartney may be best known for forming the post-Beatles band Wings with her husband, Paul McCartney, but before she hitched up with him in 1969 she was, as Linda Eastman, a celebrity photographer in her own right, hanging out with the raunchiest rock and pop stars of the Swinging Sixties. A retrospective of more than 200 of her black-and-white and color pictures is now showing at the Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier, through May 4.

Covering three decades, from 1965 through the year before her death from breast cancer in 1998, it includes intimate backstage portraits of stars like Jimmy Hendrix, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin. Another section shows later, more experimental work, while a collection of Polaroid snapshots offers a spontaneous, intimate look at her family life.

The exhibition, essentially an homage to Linda and Paul and the Britain of the 1970s, includes the iconic 1969 photo of the four Beatles crossing Abbey Road in London, the cover image of the group’s last recorded album, even though the picture was taken by Iain Macmillan, based on Paul McCartney’s idea.

Knighted and only slightly portlier now, Sir Paul popped in by private jet for 40 minutes to grace the opening. A heart drawn in the visitors’ book bears witness to the moment. For nostalgic survivors of those nicer naughty times, it’s a show worth seeing, not least as an excuse to visit a charming southern French city known for its fine cuisine (we recommend the restaurant L’Endroit). Claudia Barbieri


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