Friday, March 12, 2010

Mr. Penn's Engagement

Lots of attention surrounding the great Irving Penn this year commemorating his death in 2009. Now on view until June 6th at the National Portrait Gallery in London is Irving Penn Portraits, which they call "a glorious celebration of his work" over the past seven decades. And that it is.

On a similar note, last night I had a nice surprise. I attended a fundraiser event at Christie's for the WCF and was able to see the Irving Penn work on view there, which is to be auctioned on April 14th. This is a collection which belongs to Patricia McCabe, Penn's long time assistant (for over thirty years!), and "the most significant group of photographs by Irving Penn ever to come to auction," as the press release states. The prints were gifts from the artist to his assistant. As would be expected the estimated prices are not what you would call "attainable" for just anyone.

My favorite for sale is the image above. He creates some wonder and curiosity with the Cuzco Children. I want to know where they have been, more about them. I love the angle of their stances. In all of his work, one can sense a strong engagement with his subjects, probably the most important quality for a portraiture photographer.

After the jump, a bit from the NPG curator, Magdalene Keaney, on Penn's "presence" in his photographs and more about the exhibition on view.

Video found via Colin Pantall's Blog
Photo Credit: Irving Penn, Cuzco Children, 1948


Elizabeth said...

The one that you picked is so intriguing.

Anonymous said...

It's great!!.............................................

Hope Chella said...

Thanks for posting this. The National Portrait Gallery in London is amazing! Also, I got you something on my blog :)