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).
Extended through April 18, 2015
February 27–April 18, 2015
May 20–July 25, 2014
November 1–December 21, 2013
September 6–October 26, 2013
Davies Street, London
Extended through July 27, 2012
Murals & Portraits
May 4–July 27, 2012
West 21st Street, New York
Avedon / Paris
September 29–December 17, 2011
June 8–July 28, 2011
Fairs, Events & Announcements
Seattle Art Fair
August 2–5, 2018, booth A09
CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle
Gagosian is pleased to present Out of This World: Artists Explore Space, a booth curated by Larry Gagosian for the 2018 Seattle Art Fair. The presentation gathers works that reveal artistic and scientific explorations of the cosmos. Featured artists include Richard Avedon, Andisheh Avini, Chris Burden, Alexander Calder, Vija Celmins, Ellen Gallagher, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Neil Jenney, Mike Kelley, Yves Klein, Vera Lutter, Brice Marden, Marc Newson, Nam June Paik, Thomas Ruff, Ed Ruscha, Tom Sachs, Taryn Simon, Yves Tanguy, and Andy Warhol, among others.
Ed Ruscha, Even Though He’s Light Years Away, His Heart Belongs to Me, 1963 © Ed Ruscha
Paris Photo 2017
November 9–12, 2017, booth B16
Grand Palais, Paris
Patti Smith, an internationally acclaimed musician, writer, and visual artist, has chosen a selection of her own photographs to be shown alongside works by other artists including Richard Avedon, Balthus, Gregory Crewdson, Peter Lindbergh, Vera Lutter, Sally Mann, Taryn Simon, Deborah Turbeville, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Smith began taking photographs in 1978, eventually developing an emotionally unfiltered archive of solitary moments, to which she is continually adding. Her lifelong fascination with eulogy and remembrance is reflected in her selection of works by other artists. “Curated by Patti Smith” provides a glimpse of Smith and her fellow travelers, and is a coming-together of people, places, and relics.
Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Slippers, NYC, 2002 © Patti Smith
Gagosian App for iPad
Gagosian announces the launch of a free iPad app, designed by award-winning firm RadicalMedia, which offers unprecedented access and takes users on an in-depth journey with Gagosian’s artists and exhibitions, presented through visually stunning, richly informative and innovative features on June 12, 2011.
Artists featured in this issue include Richard Avedon, Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, John Currin, Vera Lutter, Kazimir Malevich, Elizabeth Peyton, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, and Rudolf Stingel.
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