Rhythm Gallery present Irving Penn: photography, an exhibition that brings together around 30 photographs, embodying Penn’s revolutionary photographic style. Stretching from 1939 to the beginning of the 2000s, the works presented will be accompanied by archival documents and rarely seen preparatory sketches, which articulate the notion of “photographism” of the artist. The exhibition proposes that Penn invented this neologism to emphasize the striking clarity and reductivism of his photography, born out of his anti-hierarchical cross-pollination of mediums. Organized in a novel way, the exhibition will retrace through its six distinct groups of works the various artistic mediums and movements that have shaped Penn’s practice. Filming will take place on the third floor of 540 West 25th Street in Chelsea from January 8 to February 13, 2021.
Although trained as a painter, Penn began working in the 1940s as a photographer for high fashion magazines, most notably Vogue, one of the few venues where experimental photography could be exhibited at the time. Incorporating the printed page but also distinguishing itself from this busy terrain, Penn’s work radically modernized various genres of photos, from still life and portraiture to fashion editorial photography. His unique stylistic or photographic approach consisted of a formal distillation that tapped into the fine arts, such as drawing, painting, and sculpture, and the more commercial graphic arts, such as typography and graphics. The first works included in the exhibition, such as The Tarot Reader (Jean Patchett & Bridget Tichenor) (1949) and Fish made from fish (1939), for example, emphasize the primacy of drawing in Penn’s compositional choices and formal effects. Other works, such as Two Miyake warriors (B) (1998) and Stair dress Issey Miyake (1994), reveal the importance of architecture as well as choreographed art forms in Penn’s ongoing collaboration with fashion designer Issey Miyake. Even the medium of photography itself is taken into account in Penn’s self-reflective works, like the bedside lamp (2006) and Girl Behind the Bottle (Jean Patchett) (1949).
Of his work, Penn said, “What I aspire to as a photographer is someone who will connect the work of photographers with that of sculptors and painters of the past. Irving Penn: photography answer that call. Avoiding chronology and the photographic series as organizing principles, the exhibition will break with conventional modes of photographic exposure in order to emphasize the different mediums and artistic movements that have inspired Penn’s work throughout his years. seven decades of career. In its juxtapositions of disparate works, the exhibition echoes Penn’s own blend of his art, as seen in his annotated sketches over the photograph. The presentation will also be accompanied by a slideshow highlighting the breadth of Penn’s work, from posters and Vogue spread to tear sheets and ad campaigns.
Penn’s works will also be featured in an upcoming group exhibition titled Modern look: photography and the American magazine at the Jewish Museum in New York, March 12 – July 11, 2021. The presentation will feature more than 150 works, including photographs, layouts and covers examining the influences of designers and photographers such as Penn on the visual culture of 1930s to 1960s, further emphasizing Penn’s role at the forefront of photography and graphic design during those decades.
Irving Penn (born 1917, Plainfield, New Jersey; died 2009, New York) studied design from 1934-38 with Alexey Brodovitch at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. After a year of painting in Mexico, he returned to New York and began working at Vogue magazine in 1943, where Alexander Liberman was artistic director.
Penn photographed for Vogue and business customers in America and abroad for nearly 70 years. Whether it’s an innovative fashion image, a striking portrait, or a captivating still life, each of Penn’s images carries its signature style of elegant aesthetic simplicity.
In addition to his editorial and advertising work, Penn was also a master printmaker. From 1964 he pioneered a complex technique for making platinum-palladium prints, a 19th-century printing process to which he applied 20th-century materials.
The first retrospective of Penn’s work was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1984. After the historical exhibition which traveled to more than 14 countries after MoMA, he resumed painting and drawing in as a creative endeavor in its own right. Until his death in 2009, his innovative photographs continued to appear regularly in Vogue, and his studio was occupied with assignments and experimental personal work.
Recent exhibitions include Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2015-16) and Irving Penn: centenary at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2017).
Rhythm is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most important international artists and fields of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Under the leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace is a vital force in the art world and plays a vital role in shaping history, creation and engagement with art. modern and contemporary. Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished heritage of dynamic and dedicated relationships with renowned artists. As the gallery enters its seventh decade, Pace’s mission continues to be inspired by a desire to support the world’s most influential and innovative artists and share their visionary work with people around the world.
Pace advances this mission through its dynamic global program, comprising ambitious exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances and interdisciplinary projects through Pace Live, as well as curatorial research and writing. Today, Pace has nine locations around the world: two galleries in New York, including its recently opened headquarters at 540 West 25th Street and an adjacent 8,000 square foot exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street, as well as galleries in Palo Alto, London. , Geneva, Hong Kong and Seoul. In July 2020, Pace opened a temporary gallery space in East Hampton, New York, which will run through October 2021. Additionally, the gallery’s seasonal exhibition space in Palm Beach will be open until spring. 2021.
Irving Penn: Photography
January 8 – February 13, 2021
540 25th Street West