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Irving Penn Leon Levinstein ICP 1978 (Irving Penn fashion photo)

1978

About the Item

Irving Penn/ Leon Levinstein ICP, 1978: Rare vintage original 1970s International Center of Photography (ICP) press photograph published on the occasion of the exhibition: "Photography of the Fifties: An American Perspective". Left side features Levinstein's "Tattooed Man", 1958 and right features Irving Penn's "Black and White Vogue Cover", 1950. Medium: Silver gelatin print. Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches. Minor signs of handling; very good overall vintage condition. Stamped on the reverse from an edition of unknown. Scarce. Irving Penn: Penn was as an American photographer known for both his commercial and fine art work. Using both large format and 35mm cameras, he regularly turned his lens on street debris, animal skulls, and flowers, in addition to his glamorous images of celebrities. “I share with many people the feeling that there is a sweetness and constancy to light that falls into a studio from the north sky that sets it beyond any other illumination,” he once reflected. “It is a light of such penetrating clarity that even a simple object lying by chance in such a light takes on an inner glow, almost a voluptuousness.” Born on June 16, 1917 in Plainfield, NJ, he studied art and design under Alexey Brodovitch at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia before moving to New York in 1938. In New York, Penn worked as Brodovitch’s assistant at Harper’s Bazaar magazine a painter and illustrator. Around this time, he began taking black-and-white photographs with his newly purchased Rolliflex camera. In 1943, Alexander Liberman, the director of Vogue magazine, hired Penn as a designer for the publication, while also encouraging him to pursue a career in fashion photography. By the early 1950s, the artist had established himself as an important photographer in the industry. Notably, Penn’s wife was the Swedish model turned artist Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn. The artist founded the Irving Penn Foundation in 2005, a non-profit which was established to promote his legacy. He died on October 7, 2009 in New York, NY at the age of 92. In 2017, his major retrospective “Irving Penn: Centennial," opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, commemorating the artist's 100th birth date. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Leon Levinstein: A lesser-known master of street photography, Leon Levinstein moved to New York City in 1946 and spent his life photographing strangers on the streets, in parks, and on the beach at Coney Island. Levinstein largely eschewed the art world, rarely worked on assignment, and never produced a book of his work, but his impeccably framed black-and-white photographs were championed by the famed photographers Alexey Brodovitch and Edward Steichen. By day, Levinstein worked as a graphic designer; during evenings and weekends, he ventured into crowds, capturing people in fleeting, expressive moments and creating poetic, humorous, and dark pictures. “A good photograph will prove to the viewer how little our eyes permit us to see,” Levinstein once said. “Most people only see what they’ve always seen and what they expect to see. Whereas a photographer, if he’s good, will see everything.”
  • Creation Year:
    1978
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 8 in (20.32 cm)Width: 10 in (25.4 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • After:
    Irving Penn (1917 - 2009, American)
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    NEW YORK, NY
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU354310125892
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