Friday, October 09, 2009

Irving Penn - rest in peace

Photographs by Irving Penn.

"Irving Penn studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the Philadelphia Museum School from which he graduated 1938.

Penn's drawings were published by Harper's Bazaar and he also painted. As his career in photography blossomed, he became known for post World War II feminine chic and glamour photography.

Penn worked for many years doing fashion photography for Vogue magazine. He was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and used this simplicity more effectively than other photographers.

Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner. Posing his subjects within this tight, unorthodox space, Penn brought an unprecedented sense of drama to his portraits, driving the viewer's focus onto the person and their expression.

In many photos, the subjects appeared wedged into the corner. Subjects photographed with this technique included Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, W. H. Auden, Igor Stravinsky and Marlene Dietrich."
- continue reading here.

Further reading and photographs here, here and here for example.

Legendary photographer Irving Penn pasted away yesterday at the age of 92. His talent, eye and vision will be sadly missed.

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