Tallinna Fotokuu 2013

– Kumu: Irving Penn








Photo: Irving Penn (1917–2009). Balenciaga “Little Great Coat” (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn). 1950, Paris. Moderna Museet, Sweden. © The Irving Penn Foundation


Irving Penn. Diverse Worlds

Kumu Art Museum
14. June – 06. October 2013

Irving Penn (1917–2009) is considered one of the leading photographers of our time. He worked in advertising and fashion, and was acclaimed in both worlds. In distinct series of portraits, fashion photographs and still lifes, he developed a unique style that is recognisable for its clarity of detail and precision, and for minimalist expression. Penn worked almost exclusively in the studio, primarily in his own in Manhattan, but also in a mobile studio that he put up wherever he happened to be in the world.

The exhibition „Irving Penn. Diverse Worlds” presents photographs from several of Irving Penn’s best-known series. Most of them were donated to the Moderna Museet, Sweden in 1995 by the artist in memory of his Swedish-born wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn. The exhibition includes photographs that span a period of more than fifty years, as well as some of his spreads for magazines, primarily the American magazine Vogue.

Irving Penn worked for Vogue almost his entire professional career. The 1943 cover of Vogue was Irving Penn’s first published cover photograph. It is a composition of exclusive fashion accessories and, rather surprisingly, a picture with lemons. His final cover for the magazine being published in May of 2004. Together with Richard Avedon at Harper’s Bazaar, Penn became one of the leading figures of the genre, and central to the development of traditions in the field of fashion photography. One of the things that made fashion photographers so successful was that they were able to publish week after week and be credited by name in widely distributed editorial stories.

Visit Kumu’s website