Terence Donovan Retrospective

An exhibition and book celebrates 40 years of work by the late British photographer Terence Donovan

Terence Donovan: Speed of Light is a retrospective exhibition of the late British photographer Terence Donovan, held at London's Photographers' Gallery. The coinciding book Portraits from publisher Damiani is dedicated to Donovan’s portraiture.

Donovan came to prominence in London as part of the post-war movement in art. He became a force in fashion and later advertising and portrait photography. He made a mark in every decade of his career. He was a keen documenter of Swinging London and a sought-after advertising and commercial photographer in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he became renowned for his TV commercials, while in the 1990s he received praise for his still photography. Donovan passed away in 1996.

The exhibition is named after an expression that Donovan used frequently. It includes a mixture of prints, unpublished material and video works. There is also ephemera such as magazine spreads, contact sheets and Donovan’s favourite cameras.

The book Portraits explores Donovan’s interest in portraiture, which spanned the entirety of his 40 year-long career. During this time, he worked for major British and international magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. The book features spreads from these magazines, as well as contact sheets, and pages from diaries and daybooks — all rare materials that provide an insight into Donovan’s life and work.