“Irving Penn, Resonance” in Venice

From April 13 through December 31, 2014, Palazzo Grassi presents

“Irving Penn, Resonance”, the first major exhibition dedicated to Irving

Penn in Italy. The exhibition curated by Pierre Apraxine and Matthieu

Humery, brings together on the second floor of Palazzo Grassi 130

photographs, taken between the end of the 1940s and the mid-1980s.




It is the first time Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana-François Pinault Foundation presents

an exhibition of photographs from the collection, thereby demonstrating its commitment

to this major medium of creation. Part of these photographs comes from. Kuniko Nomura’s

collection, which was assembled in the 1980s with the help of Irving Penn himself. He indeed

put together photographs that, according to him, could sum up his work in a complete and

coherent way. The exhibition is a collection of 82 platinum prints, 29 gelatin silver prints, 5

colorful dye transfer prints and 17 internegatives, which will be shown to the public for the

first time. It tackles the themes dear to Irving Penn and which, beyond their apparent

diversity, all capture every facet of ephemerality. This is true of the selection of photographs

from the series “small trades”, taken in France, England and the United States in the 1950s.

Convinced that their trades would eventually disappear, Irving Penn immortalized, in his

studio, newspaper men, street vendors, rag dealers, chimney sweeps, and many more, all

in their work clothes. It is also the case for the portraits taken between the 1950s and the

1970s of celebrities from the world of art, cinema, and literature – Pablo Picasso, Truman

Capote, Marcel Duchamp and Marlene Dietrich, among others. Exhibited alongside

ethnographic photographs of the people of Dahomey (from the 1960s) and of tribesmen

from New Guinea and Morocco (from the 1960s and 1970s), they strongly underline the

brevity of human existence, whether affluent or resourceless, famous or unknown.

The exhibition path, which encourages dialogue and connections between works that differ

in subject matter and period of time, gives prominence to still life photography from the

late 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s: they are composed of cigarette ends, fruit dishes,

vanitas – assemblages of skulls, bones and other objects – as well as animal skulls photographed

at the Narodni National Museum in Prague in 1986 for the series “Cranium Architecture”. 
























































source: artdaily.com