Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at DMA

007Image courtesy of DMA

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at DMA

The Dallas Museum of Art presents Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, the first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly 20 years, which will celebrate his legacy as a modern master and reveal the full expressive range of his work. Irving Penn (1917–2009), known for his iconic fashion, portrait and still-life images that appeared in Vogue magazine, ranks as one of the foremost photographers of the 20th century.

 

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at DMAImage courtesy of DMA

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The exhibition, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), features work from all stages of Penn’s career – street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, still lifes and more private studio images. On view at the DMA April 15 through August 14, 2016, as the first venue of a five-city national tour, Irving Penn presents more than 140 photographs drawn exclusively from SAAM’s extensive holdings, including the debut of 100 photographs recently donated by The Irving Penn Foundation.

 

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at DMAImage courtesy of DMA

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Penn’s pictures reveal a modernist instinct for stark simplicity, whether he was photographing celebrities, fashion models, still lifes or people in remote places of the world. The exhibition presents several previously unseen or never exhibited photographs. Also on view for the first time will be Super 8 mm films of Penn in Morocco, made by his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, which add a vivid picture of the artist at work.“While Irving Penn is a celebrated artist, this new exhibition reveals a depth to his work that we have not always seen and understood,” said Olivier Meslay, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs.

 

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“Beyond his fashion photography, Penn demonstrated the quintessential aspect of artistic creation: boldness, following and also breaking the rules, contrast and drama”. “While Irving Penn was one of the key photographers of the 20th century, this will be the first retrospective of his work in 20 years, addressing the subjects for which he is most famous—from his iconic fashion images for Vogue to the works that stemmed from his private interests”, said Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art and presenting curator in Dallas for Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty. “His mastery of lighting and composition, and his technical prowess in the darkroom, reveal him as a true master of modern photography.

 

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Penn’s role as an innovator in the medium of photography is a compelling story, and the DMA is pleased to reveal, and celebrate, his artistic legacy. ”The 100 photographs recently donated to SAAM, and on view in the exhibition, include rare street photographs from the late 1930s and 1940s, most of which are unpublished; images of postwar Europe; iconic portraits of figures such as Truman Capote, Salvador Dalí and Leontyne Price; color photographs made for magazine editorials and commercial advertising; self-portraits; and some of Penn’s most recognizable fashion and still-life photographs. All the prints were made during the artist’s lifetime and personally approved by him. In 1988, Penn donated to SAAM 60 photographs, spanning his career from 1944 to 1986.

 

Dallas Museum of Art
April 15, 2016 to August 14, 2016

 

more. dma.org

 

 

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