Irving Penn: A Career in Photography

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9780821224595: Irving Penn: A Career in Photography
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Trained as an artist, Irving Penn began photographing for "Vogue" in the 1940s and went on to become an accomplished and versatile image-maker. This retrospective showcases 90 images covering the whole of his career.

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About the Author:

Colin Westerbeck is Associate Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. Contributing are the art-world editor, biographer, and lecturer Rosamond Bernier, who was Penn's first editor at Vogue in the early 1940s; fashion designer Issey Miyake; anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who advised Penn on his photographic expedition to New Guinea in 1970; Colin Eisler, Robert Lehman Professor of Fine Arts at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, who composed a catalogue for Penn's first show at the Marlborough Gallery over 20 years ago; and the English historian of fashion and photography Martin Harrison.

From Booklist:

The occasion that inspired this retrospective of one of the century's most captivating and stylish photographers is Penn's donation of his professional archives and a hand-picked collection of his work to the Art Institute of Chicago. This is cause for celebration, and Westerbeck, the museum's curator of photography, and his contributors, including former Vogue editor Rosamond Bernier and anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who represent the two extremes of Penn's photographic universe, explain why in their essays. In his fashion photographs, Penn combines glamour and wit; in his portraits of artists and writers (the series of such notables as Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, and Georgia O'Keeffe wedged into a cleverly constructed corner set are especially compelling), Penn reveals both the drama and the danger of the creative life; in his nudes, he discovers the body's eternal mystery; in his portraits of New Guinea tribesmen, he further explores the body as sculpture, attire as art. Even when Penn casts his eyes on something as classic as a tulip, or as commercial as cosmetics, he makes magic. Donna Seaman

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