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Richard Avedon (American, 1923–2004)
LOT ID: 78898
Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August, 1956

Silver Print, Gelatin silver print
10 х 8 in. (25.4 x 20.32 cm.)
Signed, and stamped.
Edition of 100
Lot description
This photograph, "Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August" is accompanied by the book "Made in France," a series that was a small but central body of work in both Avedon’s career and in the history of twentieth century photography. The pictures, made in Paris for Harper’s Bazaar magazine during the 1950's, are the original engraver’s prints made by the legendary master printer André Gremela. The prints provide a remarkable insight into the working methods of one of the twentieth century’s most influential photographers.

This oversized book, measuring 12 x15 inches, printed with tritone plates throughout, is a stunning object in its own right. With this body of work, which includes the photographer's iconographic "Dovima with Elephants, Cirque d'Hiver, 1955," Avedon broke radical new ground in the history of photography. He documented the moment in which postwar France was striving through fashion to reclaim its cultural eminence. Judith Thurman, fashion writer for "The New Yorker" contributes the book's introduction. Edition of 100.

Richard Avedon (1923–2004) was the most important fashion photographer and portraitist in America throughout a six-decade career. Serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, Avedon was assigned to the photography unit and learned his trade making identification portraits. After the war, he found work as a photographer for Harper’s Bazaar and Theater Arts and began a fruitful apprenticeship with legendary editor, designer, and artist Alexey Brodovitch. Rising quickly to prominence, Avedon invigorated the staid fashion photography of the time, staging fictional tableaux and developing an unprecedented theatrical style. Moving to Vogue in 1966 and The New Yorker in 1992, Avedon continued to innovate in fashion, portraiture, and advertising reportage as well as in print and television advertising. From his first book (Observations, 1959) and his first one-man exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in 1962, Avedon was also recognized for his artistry. Extraordinarily prolific throughout his career, he produced many books, including Nothing Personal (1964), Portraits (1976), An Autobiography (1993), The Sixties (1999), Woman in the Mirror (2005), and Performance (2008). His exhibitions include Portraits, 1969–1975 at New York’s Marlborough Gallery in 1975; Avedon: Photographs 1947–1977 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1978; In the American West at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in 1985; Evidence: 1944–1994 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994; and Richard Avedon: Portraits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2002.
Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August by Richard Avedon
  • Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August by Richard Avedon
  • Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August by Richard Avedon
  • Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August by Richard Avedon
  • Suzy Parker and Gardner McKay, Dress by Balmain, Cafe des Beaux-Arts, Paris, August by Richard Avedon
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