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Richard Avedon

Portraits

September 26, 2002–January 5, 2003

Accompanied by a catalogue

Although Richard Avedon first earned his reputation as a fashion photographer, his greatest achievement has been his stunning reinvention of the genre of photographic portraiture. Featuring approximately 180 works, this exhibition spans the artist's entire career, from his earliest portraits in the late 1940s through his most recent work. Among the highlights of the exhibition are stunning portrayals of twentieth-century artistic, intellectual, and political figures, including Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marian Anderson, Willem de Kooning, and many others; a series of portraits of the artist's father in the years just prior to his death; and portraits of the unsung citizenry from the artist's series In The American West. The exhibition also features Avedon's mural-size group portraits of: Andy Warhol and the members of the Factory (1969), the coterie of artists, filmmakers, and performers who comprised the avant-garde bohemia of the day; the Mission Council (1971), military and political leaders who determined policy in regard to the Vietnam War; and the Chicago Seven (1969), a group of activists on trial for conspiring to incite an anti-war riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Other portraits on view include W. H. Auden (1956); Dorothy Parker (1958); J. Robert Oppenheimer (1958), the astronaut Gus Grissom (1961); Marcel Duchamp (1968); the pianist Oscar Levant (1972); William S. Burroughs (1975); Samuel Beckett (1979); Francis Bacon (1979); and the poet Joseph Brodsky (1991).