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Extended through July 27, 2012

Richard Avedon

Murals & Portraits

May 4–July 27, 2012
West 21st Street, New York

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky with Brendan Behan and Beatrice ffrench-Salkeld, poets, playwright, and painter, New York, September 28, 1960, 1960 © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky with Brendan Behan and Beatrice ffrench-Salkeld, poets, playwright, and painter, New York, September 28, 1960, 1960

© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg, poet, New York December 30, 1963, 1963 Gelatin silver print, 24 × 20 inches (60.9 × 50.8 cm), edition of 7© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg, poet, New York December 30, 1963, 1963

Gelatin silver print, 24 × 20 inches (60.9 × 50.8 cm), edition of 7
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, poets, New York City, December 30, 1963, 1963 Gelatin silver print, 40 × 30 inches (101.6 × 76.2 cm), edition of 11© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, poets, New York City, December 30, 1963, 1963

Gelatin silver print, 40 × 30 inches (101.6 × 76.2 cm), edition of 11
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Abbie Hoffman, Yippie, New York, September 11, 1968, 1968 © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Abbie Hoffman, Yippie, New York, September 11, 1968, 1968

© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, The Chicago Seven: Lee Weiner, John Froines, Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Dave Dellinger, Chicago, Illinois, November 5, 1969, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 121 ¾ × 242 ¾ inches (309.2 × 616.5 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, The Chicago Seven: Lee Weiner, John Froines, Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Dave Dellinger, Chicago, Illinois, November 5, 1969, 1969

Gelatin silver print, 121 ¾ × 242 ¾ inches (309.2 × 616.5 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, artist, New York, August 29, 1969, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 59 × 47 ½ inches (149.8 × 120.6 cm), edition of 10 + 1 AP© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, artist, New York, August 29, 1969, 1969

Gelatin silver print, 59 × 47 ½ inches (149.8 × 120.6 cm), edition of 10 + 1 AP
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Paul Morrissey, director; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Candy Darling, actor; Eric Emerson, actor; Jay Johnson, actor; Tom Hompertz, actor; Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 30, 1969, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 123 × 374 ½ inches (312.4 × 951.2 cm), edition of 2 + 2 APs© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Paul Morrissey, director; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Candy Darling, actor; Eric Emerson, actor; Jay Johnson, actor; Tom Hompertz, actor; Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 30, 1969, 1969

Gelatin silver print, 123 × 374 ½ inches (312.4 × 951.2 cm), edition of 2 + 2 APs
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Joe Dallesandro and Candy Darling, actors, New York, October 30, 1969, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 34 × 42 inches (86.3 × 106.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Joe Dallesandro and Candy Darling, actors, New York, October 30, 1969, 1969

Gelatin silver print, 34 × 42 inches (86.3 × 106.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Andy Warhol, artist; Paul Morrissey, director; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Candy Darling, actor; New York, May 21, 1969, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 34 × 42 inches (86.3 × 106.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Andy Warhol, artist; Paul Morrissey, director; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Candy Darling, actor; New York, May 21, 1969, 1969

Gelatin silver print, 34 × 42 inches (86.3 × 106.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg's family: Hannah (Honey) Litzky, aunt; Leo Litzky, uncle; Abe Ginsberg, uncle; Anna Ginsberg, aunt; Louis Ginsberg, father; Eugene Brooks, brother; Allen Ginsberg, poet; Anne Brooks, niece; Peter Brooks, nephew; Connie Brooks, sister-in-law; Lyle Brooks, nephew; Eugene Brooks; Neal Brooks, nephew; Edith Ginsberg, stepmother; Louis Ginsberg, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970, 1970 Gelatin silver print, 96 × 240 inches (243.8 × 609.6 cm), edition of 3© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, Allen Ginsberg's family: Hannah (Honey) Litzky, aunt; Leo Litzky, uncle; Abe Ginsberg, uncle; Anna Ginsberg, aunt; Louis Ginsberg, father; Eugene Brooks, brother; Allen Ginsberg, poet; Anne Brooks, niece; Peter Brooks, nephew; Connie Brooks, sister-in-law; Lyle Brooks, nephew; Eugene Brooks; Neal Brooks, nephew; Edith Ginsberg, stepmother; Louis Ginsberg, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970, 1970

Gelatin silver print, 96 × 240 inches (243.8 × 609.6 cm), edition of 3
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, The Mission Council: Hawthorne Q. Mills, Mission Coordinator; Ernest J. Colantonio, Counselor of Embassy for Administrative Affairs; Edward J. Nickel, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs; John E. McGowan, Minister Counselor for Press Affairs; George D. Jacobson, Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Operations and Rural Development Support; General Creighton W. Abrams Jr., Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker; Deputy Ambassador Samuel D. Berger, John R. Mossler, Minister and Director, United States Agency for International Development; Charles A. Cooper, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs; and Laurin B. Askew, Counselor of Embassy for Political Affairs, Saigon, South Vietnam, April 28, 1971, 1971 Gelatin silver print, 119 ½ × 390 ⅛ inches (303.5 × 990.9 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP© The Richard Avedon Foundation

Richard Avedon, The Mission Council: Hawthorne Q. Mills, Mission Coordinator; Ernest J. Colantonio, Counselor of Embassy for Administrative Affairs; Edward J. Nickel, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs; John E. McGowan, Minister Counselor for Press Affairs; George D. Jacobson, Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Operations and Rural Development Support; General Creighton W. Abrams Jr., Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker; Deputy Ambassador Samuel D. Berger, John R. Mossler, Minister and Director, United States Agency for International Development; Charles A. Cooper, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs; and Laurin B. Askew, Counselor of Embassy for Political Affairs, Saigon, South Vietnam, April 28, 1971, 1971

Gelatin silver print, 119 ½ × 390 ⅛ inches (303.5 × 990.9 cm), edition of 2 + 1 AP
© The Richard Avedon Foundation

About

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Richard Avedon's legendary photographic murals and related portraits. The exhibition has been drawn from the collection of and developed in collaboration with The Richard Avedon Foundation.

By the late 1960s, Avedon had worked for more than two decades as a professional photographer. His visionary depictions of couture changed fashion in magazines and his commanding portraits of public figures were among the most venerated in the world. Avedon's reportage, which he had made since the late 1940s and which included Italian and New York street scenes, had expanded to address cultural touchstones such as the American Civil Rights Movement and the inhabitants of a Louisiana mental institution.

Against the backdrop of America's social and political transformation, Avedon began to create four photographic murals between 1969 and 1971 which would be unprecedented in scale and pointed in subject. Between 20 to 35 feet wide and comprising up to five panels, the murals revealed a striking new format in which subjects were positioned frontally and aligned against a stark white background. This intensity of characterization and confrontational aspect typifies Avedon's portraits; his subjects exist larger than life, stripped of all artifice by an unflinching eye. His mural groupings featured emblematic figures: Andy Warhol with the players and stars of The Factory; The Chicago Seven, political radicals charged with conspiracy to incite riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and his extended family; and the Mission Council, a group of military and government officials who governed the United States' participation in the Vietnam War.

In his large-scale murals and the smaller, related portraits of the 1960s and 1970s, Avedon sought to depict the spirit of the times. The transgendered Candy Darling and the naked Taylor Mead testify to the provocative countercultural behavior of the Factory; the positioning of characters within the mural suggest a complicated group dynamic. The spirit of political rebellion is embodied by the Chicago Seven mural, as well as the individual photos of writer Jean Genet, Weatherman leader Bernardine Dohrn, and former turf gang-turned-human rights group, the Young Lords. The expanding definition of the American family is represented by the mural of the Ginsbergs, while earlier images of Allen in nude embrace with his partner Peter Orlovsky, were found to be too shocking for most publications in 1963. Finally, the war administrators—the Mission Council—are juxtaposed with victims of the war: Vietnamese survivors of napalm attacks. Powerful and dynamic, Avedon's images became icons of their embattled times that resonate for the present and future.

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