06
Sep
12

Exhibition: ‘Irving Penn: Diverse Worlds’ at Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden

Exhibition dates: 16th June 2012 – 9th September 2012

 

Many thankx to the Moderna Museet Malmö for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Irving Penn. 'Balenciaga Little Great Coat (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950' 1950

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Balenciaga Little Great Coat (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950
1950
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

Irving Penn. 'Truman Capote (1 of 2)' New York, 1965

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Truman Capote (1 of 2), New York
1965
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

Irving Penn. 'Ingmar Bergman (1 of 4), Stockholm, 1964' 1964

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Ingmar Bergman (1 of 4), Stockholm, 1964
1964
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it; it is in one word, effective.”

.
Irving Penn

 

 

For the first time in the Öresund region, a rich selection of Irving Penn’s photographs from some of his most famous serial photography are being presented. His innovative fashion features, portraits and still-lifes made Irving Penn one of the leading photographers of our time. Spanning more than 60 years, his career is characterised by a cool, minimalist approach to the medium. With a selection of nearly 90 works and samples from his assignments for numerous publications, the exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö covers a broad spectrum of Irving Penn’s oeuvre.

Irving Penn (1917-2009) is regarded as one of the leading photographers of our time. He was active in both the commercial and artistic fields. In 1985, he won the prestigious Hasselblad Award. In his terse serial works, Irving Penn developed a style that is distinguished by its sharpness, detail, meticulousness and minimalist imagery. The exhibition Diverse Worlds presents photographs from his most famous series and spans more than half a century. Most of these works were donated to Moderna Museet in 1995 by Penn himself, in memory of his wife, Swedish-born Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn.

Diverse Worlds is a broad resumé of Irving Penn’s oeuvre, revealing clearly the consistent style that is characteristic of his photographs. His output is typically imbued with an inquisitive eye and attention to detail, whatever the subject matter. A discussion of the commercial-artistic dichotomy seems rather pointless in the case of Irving Penn, who balanced constantly between the two, allowing one to benefit the other. His experience and background as a painter, for instance, came in handy when he was commissioned by established fashion houses to create their advertisements for publications such as Vogue – a magazine Penn worked for throughout most of his career.

In post-war New York, many cultural celebrities visited Irving Penn’s studio. The turmoil that prevailed after the Second World War was illustrated by portraying these ostensibly immortal icons trapped in a narrow corner. Penn has also related how this corner was created in his studio to counteract his own feelings of inferiority in relation to the celebs he portrayed. The less famed were also captured by Irving Penn’s camera, including small tradesmen in London and Paris, and members of Hell’s Angels in San Francisco. Life’s transience is distinctly visualised in many of the still-lifes Penn made in his career – often commissioned by fashion houses but also as part of his own projects.

Despite the variation in these pictorial series, Irving Penn’s oeuvre, and the presentation in Diverse Worlds, reveals a consistent curiosity and desire, and a wish to depict the divergent subjects in the same sensitive and detailed way. He achieved this by placing them all in the same setting. Different image worlds meet and are literally constructed in the same neutral space – Irving Penn’s studio.

Press release from the Moderna Museet Malmö website

 

Irving Penn (American, Plainfield, New Jersey 1917-2009 New York) 'Nude No. 72' 1949-50, printed 1949-50

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Nude No. 72
1949-50, printed 1949-50
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

Irving Penn (American, Plainfield, New Jersey 1917-2009 New York) 'Large Sleeve (Sunny Harnett), New York' 1951, printed 1984

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Large Sleeve (Sunny Harnett), New York
1951, printed 1984
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

Irving Penn. 'Fishmonger, London, 1950' 1950

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Fishmonger, London, 1950
1950
© by Condé Nast Publications Ltd.

 

Irving Penn. 'Cat Woman, New Guinea, 1970' 1970

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Cat Woman, New Guinea, 1970
1970
© Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009) 'Mud Glove, New York' 1975

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Mud Glove, New York

 

Irving Penn. 'Frozen Foods with String Beans, New York, 1977' 1977

 

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Frozen Foods with String Beans, New York, 1977
1977
© Copyright by The Irving Penn.

 

 

Moderna Museet Malmö
Gasverksgatan 22 in Malmö

Moderna Museet Malmö is located in the city centre of Malmö. Ten minutes walk from the Central station, five minutes walk from Gustav Adolfs torg and Stortorget.

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday 11-17
Wednesday 11-19
Mondays closed

Moderna Museet Malmö website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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