Featuring: Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote and More on Display
The Center for Creative Photography presents Richard Avedon: Relationships, which opens Saturday December 15.The sweeping new exhibition, curated by the Center’s Chief Curator Dr. Rebecca Senf, features eighty Avedon images from the collection, including many impressive large-scale prints. It is only the third exhibition of Avedon’s work and the first in over 10 years at the Center’s University of Arizona, Tucson gallery and a unique opportunity to see some of the photographer’s best-known work.
The exhibition delves into the powerful relationships created by Avedon through his work. The images include both portraiture and fashion photography and are shown in pairs and groups, exploring the relationships that Avedon had with the same subject over time as well as the connections he created between subjects. Relationships also features archival material related to the association between the photographer and the Center for Creative Photography.
“It is such a pleasure to spend time with Avedon’s masterworks, selecting a group that tells a story and invites our audiences to investigate his work more deeply,” says Senf. “We are honored to have such an amazing collection of his prints, and we are excited to share this new perspective on his photographic approach.”
Avedon created powerfully descriptive portraits that bring viewers close to his subjects. The photographs in the exhibition offer visitors a chance to be up-close with some of the photographer’s most iconic images, including Dovima with elephants evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, August 1955; Suzy Parker, evening dress by Dior, Paris studio, 1956; Truman Capote, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The breadth of images also allows for discovery of new subjects and favorites.
Cesar Chavez, organizer, United Farm Workers, Keene, California, June 27, 1976The images of Dovima and Capote also illustrate the powerful relationship that can be built between a photographer and a subject over time. Avedon photographed Dovima on many occasions, allowing them to create a special bond and make spectacular photographs together. Capote was a friend and collaborator of Avedon’s, and was photographed several times over the course of his career. Relationships features two of those portrait, from 1955 and 1974, offering an intimate look at the author as he ages.
Although many Avedon images feature a single subject, some of the most powerful have more than one. Avedon’s fashion photographs create a narrative, with the subjects playing the part of actors. When there is more than one subject the narrative grows, as with the interplay between subjects in Audrey Hepburn and Art Buchwald, with Simone, Barbara Mullen, Frederick Eberstadt, and Dr. Reginald Kernan, evening dresses by Balmain, Dior, and Patou, Maxim’s, Paris, 1959. Avedon’s portraits also create unique relationships between subjects. The exhibition features three images of married artists June Leaf and Robert Frank, including a double portrait. Avedon constructs varying perspectives when depicting the couple together or separately.
The exhibition highlights the rich Avedon holdings at the Center for Creative Photography. Avedon worked closely with then – Center director James Enyeart to place a body of over 400 significant photographs at the Center. Avedon’s works, which he personally selected for donation to the Center, enrich the collection through the importance of the subjects he photographed, the widespread circulation of his images through publication, his unique and influential photographic approach, and the blurring of the line between artistic and commercial production. The Center also holds archival material relating to the photographer’s career, which add to our understanding of his life as an artist.
The exhibit opens Saturday, December 15 from 1pm – 4pm. Admission is always free to the Center, but donations are always accepted. They are open:
Tuesday- Friday: 9am – 4pm
They are located at 1030 North Olive Road on the University of Arizona Campus.