Sunday, December 13, 2015

Best Name for a Show

Where: American Art Museum

When: March 20, 2016

In case you've not had your fill of photographic art, there's a show on at the American Art Museum that is worth a look.  The photographs of Irving Penn are on display here, but not his fashion work; this is everything else he did.  It's called "Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty," and that's exactly what it is.

No rail-thin models in haute couture to be seen - it's a wide display of abstraction, portraits of the famous (like the Truman Capote seen here), still lifes, group shots and portraits taken on his many international travels.

Penn had a real talent for photographing a large number of people at once.  Somehow, he manages to make every one look good, which is no small task.  Each person looks as if the shot is an individual portrait - there's no one hiding behind a taller person, or looking distracted.

I particularly liked his still life called "Frozen Food."  It's just that - food that's been frozen and put together for the picture.  It's full of vivid color and of ice. I also saw a portrait of Henry Moore, and it was nice to have a face to go with the art.

Verdict: This first museum retrospective of his work since his death in 2009 is a big show, so you'll want to allow some time to wander through.

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