Irving Penn Is Dead

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"Woman with Roses on Her Arm (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn,) 1950" Photo: Irving Penn

Fashion photographer Irving Penn died this morning at his Manhattan home at the age of 92. Penn was known for his classic, minimalist style and "compositional clarity." Penn's subjects were never seen running or jumping and were seldom cut off. He shot for Vogue starting in 1943, and his work rose to prominence in the fashion and art worlds. His prints still fetch huge sums at auction, such as his nude photo of Gisele, which Christie's auctioned in April of last year for $193,000. He married model Lisa Fonssagrives in 1950, and stayed with her 42 years until her death at the age of 80 in 1992.

Critic Richard Woodward wrote in 1990 that Penn's work "can best be appreciated when he seems to break away from the dictates of fashion for magazines. Only then is it clear how everything he photographs — or, at least, prints — is the product of a remarkably undivided conscience. There are no breaks; only different subjects.”

Irving Penn, Fashion Photographer, Is Dead at 92 [NYT]