Irving Penn (1917-2009) was among the most esteemed and influential photographers of the twentieth century. Over the course of a nearly seventy-year career, he mastered a pared-down aesthetic of studio photography that is distinguished for its meticulous attention to composition, nuance, and detail. This indispensable book features one of the largest selections of Penn's photographers ever compiled–nearly 300 in all–including famous and beloved images as well as works that have never been published.
Celebrating the centennial of Penn's birth, this lavish volume spans the entirety of his groundbreaking career. An enlightening introduction situates his work in the context of the various artistic, social, and political environments and events that affected the content of his photographs. Lively essays acquaint readers with Penn's primary subjects and campaigns, including early documentary scenes and imagery; portraits of cultural figures and celebrities; fashion; female nudes; peoples of Peru, Dahomey (Benin), New Guinea, and Morocco; and still lifes. Rounding out the book are discussions of Penn's advertising pictures and his painstaking printing processes, as well as an illustrated chronology. Irving Penn: Centennialis essential for any fan of this artist's work or of the history of twentieth-century photography.