From the start of his career, Richard Avedon created fashion images of sophisticated, urbane and vivacious women who appeared to rule their worlds. In his portraits, often shot simply against white seamless, he revealed the vulnerability of his subjects. A new show at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills called simply “Avedon: Women” explores the photographer’s complex and varied view of the many female subjects he photographed in the course of his 60-year career.
Last year, one of the Gagosian Gallery spaces in New York City hosted an exhibition of Avedon’s mural-size portraits of cultural icons and power brokers from the 1960s and ’70s that sparked a new appreciation of his work. “Avedon: Women” promises the same wow factor as that show, while also providing a more in-depth look at the photographer’s working methods. It includes hundreds of unpublished contact prints from his archive. Some of his lesser-known color images are exhibited in a small room inside the Beverly Hills gallery.
In addition, the exhibition catalogue offers insights into what it was like to be photographed by Avedon. Models like Nastassja Kinski, Penelope Tree, Lauren Hutton and Anjelica Huston, as well as Andrea D’Amato, one of the subjects Avedon photographed for In the American West, were interviewed for the catalogue. Essays by Vogue writer Joan Juliet Buck and art historian Abigail Solomon-Godeau are also included in the book.
“Avedon: Women” is currently on view through December 21, 2013 at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.