The images of Richard Avedon, 100 years on, are still remarkably fresh. Whether it’s his fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar in the 1940s and ‘50s or his Civil Rights–era images or even his later work for the New Yorker under, these pictures feel as though they could have been made last year. His impact on image-making has been indelible. Just flip through the pages of almost any glossy magazine—Avedon is in there somewhere.
To mark the master’s centennial, Gagosian has mounted a grand exhibition of Avedon’s work that spans the entirety of his career. It’s not, however, a retrospective. What sets this show apart from most is that the photographs on view were selected by a group of over 150 illustrious cultural figures, all of whom have a personal relationship with Avedon’s work.
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They include Hillary Clinton, Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian, Brooke Shields, Emma Watson, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay, Tom Ford, Miuccia Prada, François Pinault, Diana Widmaier-Ruiz-Picasso, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Deborah Willis, Hilton Als, Taryn Simon, David Adjaye, Sally Mann, Awol Erizku, Roe Ethridge, Jenny Saville, Anna Weyant, and Tyler Mitchell.
The show’s catalogue, which clocks in at 318 pages and is currently sold out, compiles more than 275 images by Avedon. Accompanying the images is a brief text written by the selectors, in which they share why, to them, Avedon’s work continues to live and breathe.