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Irving Penn: A Career in Photography Hardcover – November 1, 1997
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The occasion that inspired this retrospective of one of the century's most captivating and stylish photographers is Penn's donation of his professional archives and a hand-picked collection of his work to the Art Institute of Chicago. This is cause for celebration, and Westerbeck, the museum's curator of photography, and his contributors, including former Vogue editor Rosamond Bernier and anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who represent the two extremes of Penn's photographic universe, explain why in their essays. In his fashion photographs, Penn combines glamour and wit; in his portraits of artists and writers (the series of such notables as Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, and Georgia O'Keeffe wedged into a cleverly constructed corner set are especially compelling), Penn reveals both the drama and the danger of the creative life; in his nudes, he discovers the body's eternal mystery; in his portraits of New Guinea tribesmen, he further explores the body as sculpture, attire as art. Even when Penn casts his eyes on something as classic as a tulip, or as commercial as cosmetics, he makes magic. Donna Seaman
About the Author
Colin Westerbeck is Associate Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. Contributing are the art-world editor, biographer, and lecturer Rosamond Bernier, who was Penn's first editor at Vogue in the early 1940s; fashion designer Issey Miyake; anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, who advised Penn on his photographic expedition to New Guinea in 1970; Colin Eisler, Robert Lehman Professor of Fine Arts at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, who composed a catalogue for Penn's first show at the Marlborough Gallery over 20 years ago; and the English historian of fashion and photography Martin Harrison.
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I bought this book used. It was as described. First time I buy I buy a used book online.
The graphic quality of his work really speaks to me as a graphic desiner; weather it be his rich photographs of nude women or his famous portraits of politicans, actors and fashion models. The numerous illustrations of Penn's well-known corner shot were a nice surprise in the book; many of these images are very difficult to find on the internet, it was great being able to study the nuances of the portraits up close. A beautiful and informative book that any Penn fan would love.
Irving Penn: A Career in Photography is an excellent book for anyone interested in photography, or even a professional looking for inspiration. Though it is a large book (approximately 10" by 12") its size is fitting for a photo book so that all the images can be easily seen and appreciated. The selection of photos is also suitable in that they are some of Penn's best and most known to the photo savvy, and are also mixed in genre. The text contributed by the aforementioned people help describe and reflect Penn's photos, and also show his many styles, techniques, and views on photography. Though these stories are informative to the reader, they can also get confusing and tough to read, as some of the writers tend to overuse unnecessary wording and phrasing. However, the excellent use of text/photo relationship in design and content work well in presentation, and contributes to an overall superb book.