Monday, June 19, 2017

Irving Penn: Centennial

In the nearly debilitating humidity of this weekend, I made my way over to The Met to view the Irving Penn: Centennial, on display through July 30. Penn's work was a staple in lessons throughout art school: as a pioneer in studio portraiture, an example of medium format mastery, and a precedent for composition. I have always admired his work, especially his "Small Trades" series, and his still life work. 

Irving Penn, Small Trades, 1950-1951

Irving Penn, Small Trades, Chamois Seller, London, 1950

Irving Penn, Still Life with Watermelon, 1947

When I turned the corner into one of the last exhibition rooms, I was pleasantly surprised to see a portrait of Joan Didion. I've been reading her "White Album" over the past few weeks, and while I'm no stranger to her appearance, it's always interesting to be reminded of the wide scope of her impact.

Irving Penn, Joan Didion, New York, 1996

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