Though known primarily for his commercial fashion and portraiture work, Irving Penn produced still-life studies of trash and detritus that pushed the boundaries of the beautiful. Instead of working in his studio, Penn focused on the concrete and the chewing gum stuck to it. He fitted his camera with several extension tubes that allowed him to bring the lens tight to the pavement to achieve extremely close-up views, resulting in an enjoyable enigma of scale. The masterful rendering and large scale make Underfoot XXXIII a pleasure for both the eyes and the mind.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
Irving Penn, American, 1917–2009
Title
Underfoot XXXIII, New York
Date
2000
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 19 3/16 × 18 7/8 in. (48.7 × 47.9 cm) Sheet: 21 7/8 × 19 3/4 in. (55.5 × 50.1 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
LL 20 PUBLIC CORRIDOR
Accession Number
2018.225
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt, San Francisco; given to MFAH, 2018.