Richard Avedon: Portraits, 1952-1970

December 7, 2018 to June 16, 2019

Richard Avedon: Portraits, 1952-1970

This exhibition showcases 12 photographic portraits and three triptychs of celebrated individuals by the iconic American photographer Richard Avedon (1923-2004). Primarily a fashion photographer whose images played an influential role in defining America’s image of style, beauty, and culture, these portraits suggest his disillusionment with commercial work and his quest to portray the likeness of the sitter.

Published on the occasion the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s seminal 1970 exhibition on the artist, the Minneapolis Portfolio highlights a stylistic shift in Avedon’s practice. Here, the photographer employed an 8 x 10 view camera and shot his subjects on a flat, white background instead of his traditional grey. Stepping out from behind the camera, Avedon also began interacting with his sitters. In the Minneapolis Portfolio, Avedon’s intimate portraits feature actor Humphrey Bogart and actress Marilyn Monroe, comedians Jimmy Durante and Buster Keaton, poets Ezra Pound and Marianne Moore, as well as President Dwight David Eisenhower and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, among others. Recognizable yet foreign, the close-up portraits obscure identities and public personas, casting the subjects anew.

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