Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met

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Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Ungaro Bride, Body Sculpture Marisa Berenson, Paris, 1969

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, 1957

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Naomi Sims In Scarf, New York, ca. 1969

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Nude No. 72, New York, 1949-50

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Glove and Shoe, New York, 1947

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Mouth for L Oréal, New York, 1986

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Girl Drinking (Mary Jane Russell), New York, 1949

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Cuzco Children, 1948

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
After Dinner Games, New York, 1947

Centennial Man: Irving Penn Exhibition at the Met
Two Miyake Warriors, New York, 1998

In celebration of the centenary of Irving Penn’s birth, almost 200 of the photographer’s prints are being exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, organized in collaboration with the Irving Penn Foundation. The iconic image-maker turned his exacting lens on wide-ranging subjects throughout his photographic career, sixty of them spent at Vogue Magazine photographing some of today’s most referenced still lifes and fashion images. Calling Penn’s decades-long relationship with the camera a career may be a short sell as he was first and foremost an artist. As displayed in the 10 different rooms, Penn was just as interested in photographing cigarette butts as he was the naked human form or the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Truman Capote. He moved from assignment to assignment with academic precision bringing about a critical understanding of process and direction, articulated with a sculptural approach to lighting. The result was a worldly archive of cultural identity and contemporary attitudes–and artifact in the case of his obsession with still life–imbued with a sense of dissecting appreciation for whatever was in front of his camera. For being one the most significant photographers of his time and to this day, Irving Penn remained ego free and, ironically to that extent, it is said he likely wouldn’t have attended an exhibition honoring his work. The exhibition opens on Monday and runs from April 24th to July 30th at The MET, but preview it here.

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