Corner Portraits

Image result for corner portraits irving penn Louis ArmstrongAround 1948, photographer Irving Penn began making unusual portraits of a number of writers, artists, musicians, politicians, dancers and other celebrities. The photographic studio ceases to be a neutral environment to become an active agent in the creation of the photographic reality. Irving Penn had already begun to use the studio as a place revelead in the photograph, as the viewer is allowed to see electrical cables and photographic material scattered on the floor. With the corner portraits, the studio becomes a veritable architectural limiter of the subject movements and the resulting compressed and claustrophobic environment isolates the subjects’ personalities in an abstract, artificial corner of the world.

“Sometime in 1948 I began photographing portraits in a small corner space made of two studio flats pushed together, the floor covered with a piece of old carpeting… a very rich series of pictures resulted. This confinement, surprisingly seemed to comfort people, soothing them. The walls were a surface to lean on or push against. For me the picture possibilities were interesting; limiting the subjects movements seemed to relieve me of part of the problem of holding onto them.”~Irving Penn

Marcel Duchamp

Subjects Unidentified

Elsa Schiaparelli

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe

Gilbert Adrian

Arthur Rubinstein

Gypsy Rose Lee Penn

Igor Stravinsky

Image result for irving penn corner seriesJascha Heifetz

Joe Louis

Kay Thompson and the Williams BrothersKay Thompson and the Williams Brothers

Image result for irving penn corner shots Arthur Koestler

Irving Penn, Corner Portrait, Louis Armstrong, New York, 1948 for Vogue Magazine.Louis Armstrong

Marlene Dietrich

Martha Graham

Mrs William Rhinelander Stewart

Salvador Dalí

Spencer Tracey

Image result for corner portraits irving penn Louis ArmstrongThe Duchess of Windsor

Truman Capote

Walter Gropius

Image result for corner portraits irving penn Louis ArmstrongMaurice Chevalier

Image result for corner portraits irving penn Louis ArmstrongJerome Robbins

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