Trained as an artist, Irving Penn began photographing for Vogue in the 1940s - and went on to become one of the most versatile and accomplished image-makers of the last fifty years. His photos have become documents of the 20th century, from his portraits of the native peoples of Peru, New Guinea and Morocco to his portraits of artists and writers, from sharply stylish fashion editorials to nudes and from skilful still lifes of trash to gravity-defying still-lifes of Clinique cosmetics.
The book is a landmark retrospective, showcasing 90 standout images that traverse the entire span of his career, accompanied by reflections and remembrances on Penn's work by people who have worked with him over the years. The introduction is by COLIN WESTERBECK, curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. The book also includes essays by ROSAMOND BERNIER, Penn's first editor at Vogue; fashion designer ISSY MIYAKE; anthropologist EDMUND CARPENTER, Penn's advisor on his expedition to New Guinea in 1970; COLIN EISLER, professor of Fine Arts & English historian of fashion and photography MARTYN HARRISON.
n exhibition is being held at the Art Institute of Chicago to mark Penn's donation of his professional archive to the institute, along with a set of prints representing his life's work. Drawing on that collection this landmark retrospective showcases ninety standout images that traverse the entire span of his career, accompanied by remembrances and reflections on Penn's work by people who worked with him over the years.