MILAN, Feb 5, 2008 / FW / —- Just in time for the Milan womenswear Fall 2008 season, FORMA International Photographic Centre opens an exhibit of Richard Avedon’s photographs that were taken between 1946 to 2004.

Richard Avedon

Sponsored by Versace, this photographic exhibition celebrates his lifetime achievements and the long and successful collaboration between the great photographer and the maison.

A native New York, Richard Avedon (1923-2004) began his career as a photographer in 1942 while at the Merchant Marines, taking ID photos of the ship’s crew. In 1944, he briefly worked as an advertising photographer before being discovered by Harper’s Magazine. Two years later, in 1946, he had set up his own studio.

The exhibition ‘Richard Avedon Photographs 1946-2004’ covers his work from the beginning until the end of his career. Avedon died doing what he loves doing – taking photographs. He was on assignment for the New Yorker in San Antonio, Texas when he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was 81

Considered one of the greatest American photographers, no history of photography would be complete without Richard Avedon’s work. He was the first to break the barrier between studio and reportage.

For over 50 years Avedon was one of the most important names in fashion; his work was the subject of the first one-man retrospective exhibition held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. With this first show it was immediately apparent, even to the most cautious critics that Avedon’s incredible volume of work and unique vision were to be an integral part of the history of art.

Inspired by Martin Munkacsi, Avedon imparted a new sense of vitality to his models, who in his photographs were no longer merely “coat hangers,” but real people with actual personalities. This achievement transformed the monotonous fashion photography of the time into something vibrant and true.

Avedon’s contributions to portraiture were as important as his work in fashion photography, and his complex style made a profound mark with its intensity and emotional depth. His portraits of statesmen, artists, actors and actresses broke away from the formulaic stiffness and rigidity associated with the genre, releasing his subjects from the iconic constraints of a celebrity postcard.

The exhibition ‘Richard Avedon Photographs 1946-2004’ includes over 250 unforgettable images, tracing the story of this great photographer from his early to his final years. It opens with Avedon’s first important photographs, which were taken in 1946, right after the Second World War and continues with images that define a very different era – such as those taken in 1989 at the Brandenburg Gate, just two months after the fall of the Berlin wall. The very last photo Avedon took – four months before he died suddenly while on assignment for The New Yorker – was a portrait of the singer Björk.
PHOTOGRAPHS 1946 – 2004
From 14th February until 8th June 2008

FORMA International Photographic Centre
Milan, Piazza Tito Lucrezio Caro, 1

Open daily from 10am to 8pm.
Thursday from 10am until 10pm. Closed Mondays.
Ticket prices: € 7.50, concessions € 6, school parties € 4.

For further information: Tel. +39 02 58118067

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