Photographs from 1945 to 2004
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
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Among the significant projects of the last year of his
life, Richard Avedon (1923-2004) completed a book of his
photographs of women. Always transcending categorization-he
was both a fashion photographer and known as a "poet of
portraiture"-Avedon was interested in seeing how elemental
facts of modern life and human existence were reflected in
his work. And what could be more elemental than women, who
have mesmerized artists across the centuries?
Looking at his work in this way, Avedon was able to create
an unparalleled view of women in his time, a tumultuous
half century of rapidly changing social facts, cultural
ideals, popular styles, and high fashion. As an artist,
Avedon was deeply responsive to nuances of expression,
gesture, and comportment, and his photographs unfailingly
opened a window to the interior lives of his subjects.
These ranged from celebrities (Marilyn Monroe), artists
(Marguerite Duras, June Leaf), and high-fashion models
(Suzy Parker, Dovima) to anonymous people that simply drew
his attention. Like the best of art and literature, they
evoke rich lives and complex experiences.
An incisive essay by art historian Anne Hollander offers an
overview of a half century of Avedon's images of women.
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