About This Artwork

Irving Penn
American, 1917–2009

3 Steel Blocks, New York, April 1980, printed March 1981

Platinum-palladium print, edition 22/34
33.4 x 53.3 cm (image); 40.6 x 61 cm (paper)
Inscribed verso: “.. / AR 240 [in a circle]”; inscribed verso: “3 STEEL BLOCKS [underlined] / photographed April 1980 (IN NEW YORK)”; inscribed verso: “22/34”; stamped and inscribed verso; “PHOTOGRAPH BY IRVING PENN / Copyright © 1981 by / IRVING PENN”; inscribed verso: “Platinum-palladium / Strathmore Paper on Aluminum”; stamped and inscribed verso: “In addition to 34 numbered prints of this image / in platinum metals, a number of unsigned silver prints / for reproduction in publications may exist.”

Gift of Irving Penn, 1996.171

Copyright The Irving Penn Foundation

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, “Irving Penn, A Career in Photography,” November 22, 1997–February 1, 1998; traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, State Hermitage Museum, March 1–May 16, 1998; Hamburg, Germany, Deichtorhallen, June 18–September 6, 1998; Munich, Germany, Müchner Stadtmuseum, October 6, 1998–February 21, 1999; San Francisco, California, Friends of Photography/Ansel Adams Center for Photography, November 11, 1999–January 23, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 25–June 4, 2000; Paris, France, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, September 13–November 5, 2000. (Colin Westerbeck)

Publication History

Marlborough Gallery, New York. 1982. “Irving Penn: Recent Still Life: Negatives 1979–1980, Prints in Platinum Metals 1980–1982.” Exh. cat. Marlborough Gallery. p. 21, cat. 33. (other print of this image)

Szarkowski, John. 1984. "Irving Penn." Exh. cat. Museum of Modern Art/New York Graphic Society Books. pl. 156. (other print of this image)

Foresta, Merry A. and William F. Stapp. 1990. “Irving Penn: Master Images.” Exh. cat. National Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 69, cat. 56. (other print of this image)

Westerbeck, Colin. 1997. “Irving Penn: A Career in Photography.” Exh. cat. Art Institute of Chicago/Bulfinch Press. p. 163, cat. 125, fig. 2.

Penn, Irving. 2001. “Still Life.” Bulfinch Press. n.pag. (other print of this image)

Ownership History

Given by the artist to the Art Institute, 1996.

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