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Irving Penn

American  •  1917-2009

Biography

Arresting portraits, exquisite flowers, luscious food and glamorous models populate Irving Penn's meticulously rendered, masterful prints. Penn employed the elegant simplicity of a gray or white backdrop to pose his subjects, be it a model in the latest Parisian fashion, a famous subject or veiled women in Morocco.

Irving Penn's distinct aesthetic transformed twentieth-century elegance and style, with each brilliant composition beautifully articulating his subjects. Working across several photographic mediums, Penn was a master printmaker. Regardless of the subject, each and every piece is rendered with supreme beauty. 

Insights

  • Irving Penn began shooting for Vogue in the mid-1940s and shot over 150 covers for the magazine over the course of his career.

  • Penn was a master of both modern and contemporary photographic techniques, using a variety of cameras and printing technologies to create his impeccable works. 

  • Penn's 1972 Cigarette series was his first series where all of the prints were platinum palladium. 

"I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That's the curse of being a photographer."

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