Linda McCartney and Mary McCartney: ‘Mother Daughter’


Linda McCartney and Mary McCartney
Mother Daughter
1st June–2nd September

Mother Daughter: An exciting exhibition at Fotografiska in which the links between the past and the present create an emotional and inspiring journey, on which we travel with the late Linda McCartney and Mary McCartney into their vast lives. Spanning three decades, works by the photographers are organised to reveal a symbiotic harmony between them and rather than distinguishing between works, the installation proposes their vision of the world as one.

Together, Linda McCartney and Mary McCartney explore the connective tissue of family, common experience, and a love of the photographic medium. Their images appear to us as highly instinctual; while revealing a great ability to capture fleeting moments of intimacy and offer us a distinctly unique body of work that evokes mystique in the ordinary and everyday.

This exhibition, Mother Daughter, first shown at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, is a treasure trove of moments derived from relaxed interactions with family, a dazzling array of celebrities–Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, B.B King, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Kate Moss, Rihanna – and everyday life. There is an almost tangible shared sensibility between mother and daughter in how they establish an emotional rapport with their subjects and exact a sense of their true selves.

The feeling of intimacy and observing people and striving for the intensity of characters evolved into why I’m obsessed with taking pictures

- Mary McCartney

The way Linda used to describe her way of photographing divulges a lot about her philosophy for life in general:

“I think you just feel instinctively, you got to just click on the moment. Not before it and not after it. I think if you are worried about light meters and all that stuff, you just miss it. For me it just came from my inners, as they say. Just excitement, I love it – I get very excited.”

Linda was way ahead of her time in many respects. Famous for her passion for the vegetarian lifestyle and promoting animal rights, she revolutionised vegetarian home cooking with her vegetarian cookbooks and food company. Beginning in the mid-sixties, Linda photographed such icons as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead, producing quintessential images that reflected the musical revolution of her era. Her direct and distinctive photographs reflect the individual charisma of her subjects. In 1969, one year after becoming the first female photographer to produce a cover for Rolling Stone Magazine, Linda married Beatles member Paul McCartney. Alongside photography, her interests ranged from writing and music to filmmaking and animal-rights activism; she continued to document landscape, portraits, family, and animals throughout her life.

Mary expands on her mother’s affinities and like Linda, her candid eye bonds with and draws out people’s inner vibrancy, transmitting it to the photographic image. Her “natural” images focus intently on her subjects, from her intimate study of professional ballerinas at the Royal Ballet to candid moments behind the scenes of fashion shows, and strangers on city streets. As well as shooting the 2013 Art Calendar for renowned lens manufacturer Zeiss, Mary has captured portraits of major figures in culture and society, such as Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, Vivienne Westwood, Helen Mirren and Queen Elizabeth II. Her recent photographs of strangers stand under her Instagram campaign #someone.

The exhibition has become an actual conversation, the same one that mother and daughter shared about their craft over the decades. An inspiring, very lively, and sometimes intriguing journey that Fotografiska now is very happy to share with our guests

- Johan Vikner, Exhibition Manager at Fotografiska


Born in London in 1969, Mary McCartney’s photographic work has focused on discovering those rare moments of unguarded, emotionally charged intimacy that offers us a new insight to the subject. Her work has concentrated on the world of portrait and candid reportage photography and is suffused with a deep personal investment that captures the creative chemistry between Mary and her subjects. She responses to her wide variety of subjects as spontaneously as they are studied, thanks to her distinctive style and talent for encapsulating the inspirations, vulnerability, histories and personalities of her subjects.

McCartney’s exhibitions and publishings include “Off Pointe” (an in-depth photographic study of the Royal Ballet after hours) a selection of works are available to view as part of the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2018); First shown at The Royal Opera House, London (2004); “British Style Observed,” at the National History Museum, London (2008); and “From Where I Stand,” at the National Portrait Gallery and Michael Hoppen Gallery, London (2010). The two-volume book Monochrome Colour was published by GOST in 2014, with a concurrent exhibition at 3 Grafton Street, London, curated by de Pury de Pury. In 2015 Mary’s ‘Mother Daughter’ exhibition was first shown at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC, later the same year Mary was chosen to take the official photograph of Her Majesty the Queen to mark the occasion of her becoming the longest reigning Monarch in history (2015).

Mary’s most recently published work is a behind the scenes study of Mark Rylance as Olivia in the play Twelfth Night and his ensemble cast pre, during and post performance – The books title: “Twelfth Night 15.12.13” as quoted by Mark “The study is a rare peep backstage that Mary has captured so spontaneously”. 2018 will see Mary’s newest project “The White Horse”an intimate portrait of rider and horse published with Rizzoli USA.


Linda McCartney (1941–1998) was born in Scarsdale, New York and studied art history at the University of Arizona, with her passion for photography beginning in the early sixties. After turning professional in the mid-sixties, Linda’s distinct style of capturing the un-posed and the naturally lit resulted in acclaim for her photography throughout the world. Linda’s pictures chronicled the musical revolution of the sixties photographing the likes of The Beach Boys, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. In 1967, Linda was voted US Female Photographer of the Year and in 1974 she appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, making her the first person to have been photographed for, and taken the photo for, the cover.

Linda’s pioneering spirit led her to rediscover and experiment with the age-old form of sun printing, resulting in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and a book of her sun prints. In 1989, Linda began to pioneer another passion, to save the lives of animals through promoting the vegetarian lifestyle that she had long embraced.

Her first two vegetarian cookbooks, Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking and Linda’s Kitchen became international best sellers. Linda’s photographic work has been exhibited in major public institutions including the National Portrait Gallery in London; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; and International Centre of Photography, New York. Selected exhibitions include Sixties: Portrait of an Era and Roadworks, which travelled internationally from the Royal Photographic Society Bath, England (1992) to the Tokyo PhotographicCulture Centre Japan (2004). Most recently the Linda McCartney Retrospective has toured to Kunst Haus in Vienna, The Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier, and the Daelim Museum in Seoul in 2015.