Irving Penn - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I anticipated that our collaboration would […] be our unspoken understanding… How happy these clothes seem, made alive again by [Miyake’s] genius."
    —Irving Penn
    From 1986 until 1999, master photographer Irving Penn brought his talent for surprising compositions that beautifully articulate his subjects to Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s futuristic creations. Here, Penn photographs the sculptural garments taking on a life their own: posed as combative warriors, devoid of human presence and silhouetted against his signature white backdrop. This striking image is appearing at auction for the first time – a colour variant of which graced the cover of 1999 publication, Irving Penn regards the work of Issey Miyake.

    As leading forces in their respective fields, the long-distance collaboration between Penn and Miyake resulted in a timeless collection of over 250 images. Miyake recalled, ‘I was looking for one person who could look at my clothing, hear my voice and answer me back through his own creation. Through his eyes, […] Penn shows me what I do.’ Their unique partnership has been celebrated through numerous exhibitions, including Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue, at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT in Tokyo, between September 2011 – April 2012.

    • Provenance

      Hamiltons Gallery, London

    • Literature

      Hambourg, Rosenheim, Irving Penn: Centennial, pl. 197
      Cape, Irving Penn Regards the Work of Issey Miyake: Photographs 1975-1998, cover, color variant

    • Artist Biography

      Irving Penn

      American • 1917 - 2009

      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. 

      View More Works


Two Miyake Warriors (B), New York, June 3

Platinum-palladium print.
19 1/4 x 17 in. (48.9 x 43.2 cm)
Signed, initialed, titled, dated, numbered 4/7, annotated in ink and pencil, credit, copyright credit reproduction limitation and edition stamps on the reverse of the aluminum flush-mount.

Full Cataloguing

$30,000 - 50,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 6 April 2022