C/O Berlin

Woman with Roses, Paris, 1950 © Condé Nast

C/O Berlin

Text — Jade McSorley

This March, C/O Berlin was opening their major retrospective, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Irving Penn’s birth, commemorating this exceptional Photographer, who’s 70 year career has made profound impact on photography and art to this day. Organised by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in collaboration with The Irving Penn Foundation, this will be the first exhibition of Penn’s work in Berlin in twenty years.

A virtually unparalled master of nude, fashion, still life, portrait photography, Penn was a creative genius who managed to capture the essence of his objects, human or inanimate, seeking the beauty in the ‘ugliness’ of everyday life, ennobling his subjects with his masterful play of light and photographic gaze.

 

 

Through his Rolleiflex camera, he captured portraits of Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Pablo Picasso, and model, muse and wife, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, against a neutral backdrop. This undisturbed stage created a sense of intimacy and familiarity with whomever he was shooting, giving them space to explore boundaries within and around themselves, convincing them to take risks and move in unusual ways.

 

 

Featuring around 240 works, including a catalogue of covers and fashion stories he shot for Vogue, dating back from 1943, C/O Berlin reinstates just how influential Penn remains; A prolific artist who reminds us that the new, the exciting, and the beautiful, can discovered in the most common of places, and what seems mundane can be extraordinary.

 

Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, 1957 © The Irving Penn Foundation