RIP Irving Penn

October 7, 2009, 4:08 pm

The photographer has passed, aged 92. I’m suspicious of photography that strays even perceptibly toward the fashion end of the spectrum, but Penn (unlike, say, Avedon) somehow slips in past my Puritanical defenses. Elegant, inventive, technically proficient, various, and whimsical or eccentric enough not to be glib.

Two more, of many: first a classic fashion shot,


and then one from his extraordinary series of cigarette butts:

(For an idea of the texture, try the popup at this Christie’s page.)

The Fraenkel Gallery has put up a nice slideshow. And there’s lots more out there if you search. More by the hour, in fact — he’ll be missed.

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