RICHARD AVEDON. Relationships • Palazzo Reale

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Palazzo Reale in Milan celebrates Richard Avedon (1923-2004), one of the masters of twentieth-century photography, with an exhibition entitled “RICHARD AVEDON. Relationships” that traces his more than sixty-year career through 106 images from the collection of the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) in Tucson (USA) and the Richard Avedon Foundation (USA).

The exhibition promoted by the Municipality of Milan, produced and organized by Palazzo Reale and Skira Editore in collaboration with the Center for Creative Photography and the Richard Avedon Foundation is curated by Rebecca Senf, head of the Center for Creative Photography collection, and features Versace as main partner and Vogue Italia media partner.

The show will provide an in-depth look at the innovative features of Avedon’s art, which made him one of the most influential artists of the 20th century; while on the one hand, he revolutionized the way models are photographed, transforming them from static subjects to actresses who are protagonists of the set also showing their human side, on the other hand, his striking celebrity portraits, in black and white and often large format, are capable of revealing the innermost psychological side of the person portrayed.

The exhibition itinerary, divided into ten sections is built around the two most characteristic figures of his research: fashion photographs and portraits.

The fashion ones can be grouped into two main periods. The early images, made before 1960, are taken “on location” and feature models impersonating a role to evoke a narrative. 

Later works, on the other hand, focus exclusively on the model and the garments she wears. In these later photographs, Avedon often uses a minimalist, uniform background, and most often portrays the subject in dynamic poses, using the fluid forms of the body to reveal the construction, fabric, and movement of the garment.

The exhibition also features a large selection of portraits of celebrities from the world of entertainment, actors, dancers, musicians but also civil rights activists, politicians and writers, including those of the Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr), as well as Bob Dylan by Michelangelo Antonioni, Allen Ginsberg, Sofia Loren, Marylin Monroe, the Dalai Lama, and two by Andy Wahrol, where the father of American Pop art decides to show his intimacy to Richard Avedon by exhibiting his gunshot scars after surviving an assassination attempt.

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