How the legendary portraitist forged enduring relationships with his sitters, from Marilyn Monroe to Truman Capote
Over the course of his six-decade-long career, photographer Richard Avedon worked with a tremendous range of portrait subjects: models, actors, ballet dancers, celebrities, civil rights activists, heads of state, inventors, musicians, visual artists and writers. He also frequently returned to the same subjects. Published for an exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Richard Avedon: Relationships spotlights these recurring figures: painter Jasper Johns in 1965 and 1976; novelist Carson McCullers in 1956 and 1958; the Beatles, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe and Allen Ginsberg in 1963 and 1970. Perhaps his most intimate and enduring photographic relationship occurred with his friend and collaborator Truman Capote.
Selected from the extensive Avedon collection at the Center for Creative Photography by curator Rebecca A. Senf, this catalog presents 100 fashion and portrait photographs that emphasize the role of relationship-building in Avedon’s practice. His attunement to his individual subjects―as well as his crystalline technical proficiency―enabled him to create portraits radiant with vivid life.
Richard Avedon (1923–2004) was an influential American fashion and fine art photographer known for his emotive portraits of celebrities. His book In the American West (1985) is widely considered a seminal work in the history of photography. His works are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, among many others.