FONDAZIONE
FOTOGRAFIA MODENA

International collection

ARTISTS
A-D
E-H
I-L
M-P
R-W
Y-Ż
Irving Penn
Plainfield, New Jersey, 1917-2009
Bio
Exhibitions

Irving Penn is widely known for his fashion shoots, portraits and still-life images, which helped shape the notions of style and elegance in the collective imagination post World War II. As ad adolescent, he studied painting, graphic art and industrial design at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. In 1943 he realized his first front cover image for Vogue magazine: after which the celebrities of the day—actors, artists and many other members of the world of show business and culture—were to pass before his lens. His photographs would contribute to reshaping not only the image of the magazine but also fashion and portrait photography as a whole. Characterized by a minimalist approach and obsessive attention to detail, Penn’s work acquired its own unique style, based on refined simplicity and ever original formal innovations. Alongside his commercial career, Penn also carried out his own independent research over the years, giving over much effort to the representation of people, groups and communities living on the edges of modern society. During his countless journeys for Vogue shoots, Penn thus began to hold photo sessions in which he would portray common people encountered on his travels: quite unlike the depictions of traditional ethnography, artificially naturalistic, these anonymous portraits—created using a portable studio, in front of the same neutral backdrop that characterized his fashion photos—feature figures with a strong visual presence,
presented along with their own clothing, ornaments and work tools, yet at the same time estranged from everyday life.

10 years old

2007-2017: a history of the world told through the images of the Fondazione Cassa di risparmio di Modena Collection

March 11 - April 30, 2017

Go to the Exhibition >

Flags of America

CIAC, Foligno

19 marzo - 10 luglio 2016

Go to the Exhibition >

Flags of America

The major American authors of 1940s/1970s

15th December | 7th April 2013

Go to the Exhibition >

Irving Penn
Tambul Warriori, New Guinea, 1970
gelatin silver print, platinum toned
38,5 x 38,5 cm
© The Irving Penn Foundation