By capturing American ideals of celebrity, fashion, and beauty in the 20th and early 21st centuries, Richard Avedon helped to establish photography as a contemporary art form. Avedon’s distinct style of portrait photography is nothing short of iconic. While the portraiture of his contemporaries focused on single moments or composed formal images, his stark lighting and minimalist white backdrops drew the viewer to the intimate, emotive power of the subject’s expression. Between 1945 and 1965, he worked as a fashion photographer, revolutionizing the craft even as he honed his aesthetic. His work appeared in magazines from Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue to Life and Look. Later, he moved into journalism and the art world. Avedon’s subjects included pop icons, models, musicians, writers, artists, workers, political activists, soldiers, Vietnam War victims, politicians, and his family.
Richard Avedon was born in 1923 in New York, and died in 2004 in San Antonio, Texas. He studied philosophy at Columbia University, New York, and served in the photography department of the U.S. Merchant Marines prior to studying photography with Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research, New York. Avedon’s work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions around the world. Recent solo shows include “Portraits,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2002); “In The American West, 20th Anniversary Tour,” Amon Carter Museum, Texas (2005, traveled to Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Center for Creative Photography, Arizona; and Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, California); “Richard Avedon Photographs 1946–2004,” Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2007, traveled to FORMA, Milan; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Martin–Gropius–Bau, Berlin; FOAM, Amsterdam; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California); “Portraits of Power,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2008, traveled to San Diego Museum of Art, California); “Photographer of Influence,” Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona (2009, traveled as “Larger Than Life,” Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan; “Fashion, Stage, and Screen,” Palm Springs Art Museum, California; and “Photographer of Influence,” Nassau County Museum, New York); “Avedon Fashion 1944–2000,” International Center for Photography, New York (2009, traveled to Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Norton Museum of Art, Florida); “People,” National Portrait Gallery, Australia (2013); “Family Affairs,” The Israeli Museum, Jerusalem (2014, traveled to National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, through 2015); “Murals and Portraits,” Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2014); and “People,” Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth (2014, traveled to The Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, Australia).
Ten Exhibition Prints from In the American West
November 4–December 18, 2021
Extended through July 27, 2012
Murals & Portraits
May 4–July 27, 2012
West 21st Street, New York
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Wyatt Allgeier discusses the 1984 Arion Press edition of John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, featuring prints by Richard Avedon, Alex Katz, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, and more.
Claude Picasso and John Richardson
Picasso biographer Sir John Richardson sits down with Claude Picasso to discuss Claude’s photography, his enjoyment of vintage car racing, and the future of scholarship related to his father, Pablo Picasso.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2021
December 2–4, 2021, booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to announce its participation in Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 with a presentation of modern and contemporary works. A selection of these works will also appear on gagosian.com and on Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room.
Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Albert Oehlen; © Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Mary Weatherford. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
Art Basel Miami Beach 2019
December 5–8, 2019, booth D7
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 with modern and contemporary artworks by Richard Avedon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Rachel Feinstein, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Peter Marino, Adam McEwen, Joan Mitchell, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Steven Parrino, Pablo Picasso, Rudolf Polanszky, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, and Zao Wou-Ki, among others.
Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Wesselmann Still Life, 2004 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York
Paris Photo 2018
November 8–11, 2018, booth B16
Grand Palais, Paris
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Paris Photo 2018 with a presentation dedicated to Andy Warhol’s Factory. The booth includes photographs and mixed-media works by Richard Avedon, Brigid Berlin, Nat Finkelstein, Douglas Gordon, Michael Halsband, Ray Johnson, Peter Lindbergh, Gerard Malanga, Robert Mapplethorpe, David McCabe, and Duane Michals, as well as by Warhol himself. To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at email@example.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at www.parisphoto.com.
Douglas Gordon, Self Portrait of You + Me (2 piece Andy), 2008 © Studio lost but found/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2018
August 24–November 28, 2021
This exhibition centers on the reimagining of iconography in American photography after 1945, when exaggeratedly idealized landscapes were replaced by everyday imagery that had previously been considered unworthy of portrayal. Some photographers captured the dynamic of big cities through a spontaneous pictorial language that often portrayed American society in a critical light. And, in a contrasting approach, others staged elaborate cinematic tableaux that grappled with photographic reality and illusion as well as with societal developments. Work by Richard Avedon and Gregory Crewdson is included.
Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 1998–2002 © Gregory Crewdson
Avedon in Texas
Selections from In the American West
February 25–July 2, 2017
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
In spring 1979, Richard Avedon went to the Rattlesnake Round-Up in Sweetwater, Texas, and created six evocative portraits that would set the tone for his work of the next five years. In these settings, he discovered people who conveyed through their faces, clothes, and postures not merely hard living but the full embrace of existence, which is evident in this selection of seventeen of the project’s Texas images.
Richard Avedon, Petra Alvarado, factory worker, El Paso, Texas, on her Birthday, April 22, 1982, 1982 © The Richard Avedon Foundation