Skip to Main Content

Irving Penn

American, 1917–2009

7,777 followers
Follow

Irving Penn

American, 1917–2009

7,777
Followers
Biography

Considered one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Irving Penn photographed a host of important writers, visual artists, and cultural figures in his lifetime (including Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico, John Cage, Truman Capote, and Louise Bourgeois) as well as producing images for Vogue, Chanel, and other major fashion mainstays. Known for his pared-down compositional style, Penn often photographed his subjects in the natural light of the studio using minimal props; his fashion images were marked by their austerity, sophistication, and tonal subtleties. Penn also photographed workers his series “Small Trades” (1950–51), depicting laborers in New York, Paris, and London posed in work clothes and holding the tools of their trade. Caught in both black and white and color, Penn’s iconic images are known for the honesty and humanity he brought to his subjects.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Biography

Considered one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Irving Penn photographed a host of important writers, visual artists, and cultural figures in his lifetime (including Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico, John Cage, Truman Capote, and Louise Bourgeois) as well as producing images for Vogue, Chanel, and other major fashion mainstays. Known for his pared-down compositional style, Penn often photographed his subjects in the natural light of the studio using minimal props; his fashion images were marked by their austerity, sophistication, and tonal subtleties. Penn also photographed workers his series “Small Trades” (1950–51), depicting laborers in New York, Paris, and London posed in work clothes and holding the tools of their trade. Caught in both black and white and color, Penn’s iconic images are known for the honesty and humanity he brought to his subjects.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Irving Penn
Articles Featuring Irving Penn
Six Decades “On Assignment” with Irving Penn
Sep 4th, 2013
Six Decades “On Assignment” with Irving Penn
Navigate right