“What I yearn for as a photographer,” said Irving Penn (1917–2009), “is someone who will connect the work of photographers to that of sculptors and painters of the past.” Penn coined the term photographism to describe his stylistic approach to his work, though he never quite articulated its definition. But in his fashion shoots for Vogue, he let typography and graphic design guide his compositions. And his still lifes and portraiture were deepened with ideas from drawing, painting, and sculpture. This exhibition explores Penn’s concept of photographism by dividing his 70-year career into six groups, each reflecting a medium or art movement that inspired him. —E.C.
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