Irving Penn Portraits
If the combined sartorial excess of LFW was not enough to abate your appetite, a trip to the National Portrait Gallery, where ‘Irving Penn Portraits’ is currently exhibiting, may be something to consider for the weekend. Bringing together an eclectic range of the late photographer’s portraits, this looks set to be a fascinating visit, an amazing opportunity to appreciate the undisputed Masters’ visual language and innovative composition, light and printing techniques first hand.
Penn was always keen to emphasise the limits of the photographed portrait, it’s ability to capture something raw and candid, and it is this sensibility that characterises his signature style. Instantly recognisable, a Penn portrait is stark, with low-key lighting and limited props. It was in almost direct antithesis to the preferred style du jour when he began taking portraits, yet it is a technique that has been much emulated, and has that has transcended decades and remains equally as influential to contemporary artists and photographers.
Irving Penn Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery until 6 June 2010.
Posted by Vicki Loomes