Monday, June 15, 2009

Richard Avedon at ICP

My own familiarity with the photographer extraordinaire Richard Avedon is his portraiture, such as his iconic image of Marilyn Monroe with her guard down; after hours of posing for Avedon, the tired actress plopped down on a stool and let him snap a few more, which artist Vik Muniz rightly characterizes as "a picture of Norma Jean, not Marilyn."

The current show at the International Center for Photography showcases another side of the versatile photographer's oeuvre: Avedon Fashion photographs, 1944 - 2000. The exhibition opened on May 15th and runs through September 6th (note, press release says Sept 6, website says Sept 20). Roberta Smith had nothing but glowing things to say about the dynamic, vibrant photographs in the ICP exhibition:

Avedon’s fashion photographs from the late 1940s to the early ’60s are everything you want great art to be: exhilarating, startlingly new and rich enough with life and form to sustain repeated viewings. Their beauty is joy incarnate and contagious. The best of them are as perfect on their own terms as the best work of Jackson Pollock or Jasper Johns from that era, and as profoundly representative of it.

You can read Roberta Smith's full review here. I am putting this exhibition on my must-see list of the summer!

(below, left: A 1994 shot of Stephanie Seymour; right, Veruschka, dress by Kimberly,
New York, January 1967.
Copyright 2009, the Richard Avedon Foundation)

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