Photographer Irving Penn Dead at 92

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2009 6:42 PM CDT
A 1971 image of two Moroccan women, "Guedras in the Wind," by Irving Penn.   (AP Photo/Christie's, Irving Penn)
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(Newser) – Irving Penn, a giant in photography whose images can be found in fashion magazines—he started at Vogue in 1943—as well as museums, is dead at 92. A roundup of obituaries of the man who photographed everyone from Picasso to Gisele Bündchen:

  • New York Times: He's "one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential photographers" with a "signature blend of classical elegance and cool minimalism."
  • Los Angeles Times: "A grand master of American fashion photography whose 'less is more' aesthetic, combined with a startling sensuality, defined a visual style that he applied to designer dresses or fleshy nudes, famous artists or tribal chiefs, cigarette butts or cosmetics jars."

  • Time: "Along with the late Richard Avedon he was the king of a certain kind of supreme American magazine photography in the decades after World War II. ... He "put aside the overstuffed manner of so much pre-war fashion photography for a stark, simplified graphic style that perfectly suited a new era."
  • Boston Globe: "The work of no other figure in the world of fashion—not couturier, not illustrator, not model—so clearly demonstrates the designer Coco Chanel’s much-quoted dictum, 'Elegance is refusal.'"