Irv­ing Penn (un) fil­tered

Mu­sic, books, film, ex­hi­bi­tions … the sea­son’s high­lights.

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - DIARY - Olivier Lalanne and BY Di­dier Péron

— He never de­parted from his per­sonal rule of work­ing be­hind closed doors. Right to the end, Irv­ing Penn chose to take his pho­to­graphs in a stu­dio, whereas all the new pho­tog­ra­phers, the New Wave, the New Hol­ly­wood, were ad­vo­cat­ing go­ing into the street with ever–lighter cam­eras. It is said that un­til his last breath, he went to his stu­dio on 5th Av­enue ev­ery day. It was nick­named “the hospi­tal ”, as ev­ery­thing was so me­thod­i­cally tidy. There, Irv­ing Penn pro­duced orig­i­nal prints with the same manic at­ten­tion to de­tail that made him a leg­end in the years when he worked with

Vogue un­der Alexan­der Liber­man in the 1950s. The ex­hi­bi­tion at the Grand Palais in Paris cel­e­brates what would have been his hun­dredth birth­day (he died in Oc­to­ber 2009 ), pro­vid­ing an ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover the orig­i­nal prints the artist did him­self. He never au­tho­rised any ex­hi­bi­tion print. Irv­ing Penn pho­tographed por­traits of all the well –known per­son­al­i­ties of his time ( Pi­casso, Capote, Richard Bur­ton, Balthus) as well as un­knowns. He was fas­ci­nated by the street crafts­men he en­coun­tered on his trav­els, which all had a hint of ethno­graphic ro­man­ti­cism ( Morocco, Peru, Pa­pua – New Guinea … ) Even his still lifes, in­clud­ing his large plat­inum prints of cig­a­rette butts, which were the sub­ject of a con­tro­ver­sial ex­hi­bi­tion at the MoMA in 1975. Seen through his eye, even the tini­est bit of burnt waste takes on a no­ble aura that noth­ing

can de­stroy. GRAND PALAIS (Paris ), from 21 Septem­ber 2017 to 29 Jan­uary 2018

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