Irving Penn: Underfoot

 

 

Irving Penn: Underfoot at the Art Institute Chicago.

From an Art Institute Chicago website:

The path that led Irving Penn to the seemingly galactic abstractions of his late series Underfoot lay just outside his studio door. Walking the streets of Manhattan with a portable stool and a camera fitted with several extension tubes, Penn lowered his eye and his equipment nearly to the pavement. There he found a universe of abject form: pebbled concrete, cheap discarded matches and cigarette butts, and above all a wealth of masticated gum. Capturing patches of this blobby urban landscape at close range, Penn transformed it with characteristic precision into a world of odd beauty, complete unto itself and unplaceably remote. Former Art Institute Director James Wood, with whom Penn had worked closely to establish the vast archive of his photographs and papers held at the museum, visited the studio and later marveled to Penn at how these photographs showed “the cosmos underfoot.” The Irving Penn Foundation has generously offered all 36 photographs from Underfoot as a gift to the Art Institute in Wood’s memory.

The facts:
Irving Penn: Underfoot
January 17, 2013 – May 12, 2013
Art Institute Chicago
11 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

Photo above left and below:
Irving Penn. Underfoot XXIV, New York, 2000. Gift of the Irving Penn Foundation in memory of James Wood. © The Irving Penn Foundation.

Irving Penn. Underfoot XXXV, New York, 2000. Gift of the Irving Penn Foundation in memory of James Wood. © The Irving Penn Foundation.