In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Irving Penn’s birth in 1917, the Grand Palais is featuring an incredible retrospective of Mr. Penn’s breathtaking photographs – but, hurry, the expo closes on January 29th. Irving Penn (1917-2009) was a visionary who is most famous for his innovative portraits and fashion photographs which appeared regularly in Vogue magazine over five decades. He was born in New Jersey to Russian immigrant parents and enjoyed 70 years of a career which, because of his unique vision and avant-garde skills, elevated the practice of photography to a real art form.
The Irving Penn exposition at the Grand Palais is the biggest one ever. It’s organized in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Irving Penn Foundation. The exhibit includes 235 photographic prints – all of them produced by the artist himself. There are many examples of state-of-the-art Vogue magazine covers; still life photography at its creative summit; existential portraits of Dali and Hitchcock, as well as more classic ones of Marlene Dietrich and Jean Cocteau. There is even a room of prints dedicated to Mr. Penn’s Cigarette Series of 1972 showing the aesthetic side to cigarette butts and ashes. You will also find the world famous, iconic photo of a model with tobacco on her tongue, a stylish tribute to the art of smoking.
The Grand Palais is easy to get to from Apartments du Louvre – just take the Metro, Line 1 to the Champs Elysees Clemenceau stop. The Grand Palais is closed on Tuesdays, but it’s open every other day of the week from 10 AM to 8 PM. On Wednesdays, you can even plan an evening visit as it stays open until 10 PM at night. The entrance ticket costs 13 Euros. You can reserve your tickets ahead of time online.
Remember, you have only until January 29th to be amazed by the elegant work of Irving Penn here in Paris. Add this event to your “Must Do” cultural list. It’s well worth the visit.