Mouth (for L'Oréal), New York

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Irving Penn
American, 1917–2009

Mouth (for L'Oréal), New York, 1986, printed 1992

Dye imbibition print, edition of 28
47.5 x 46.7 cm (image); 57.8 x 49.4 cm (paper)
Inscribed verso: "REF. 16815"; inscribed verso, ".."; inscribed verso: "MOUTH / (NEW YORK, 1986) [in a box]"; stamped and inscribed verso: "PHOTOGRAPH BY IRVING PENN / Copyright © 1986 by / THE CONDE NAST PUBLICATIONS INC. / not to be reproduced without / written permission of the copyright owner."; stamped and inscribed verso: "DYE TRANSFER PRINT MADE 1992."; stamped and inscribed verso, "SIGNED, DYE TRANSFER PRINTS OF / THIS IMAGE NOT EXCEEDING 28. / IP"; signed and stamped verso: "Irving Penn / IRVING PENN [in a circle]."
Gift of Irving Penn, 1996.248

Copyright The Irving Penn Foundation

Working for almost 70 years, Irving Penn produced groundbreaking images that blurred the boundaries between advertising and art. By the early 1950s, he had established a successful career as an editorial photographer at Vogue magazine and began taking on freelance advertising assignments, creating innovative photographs that stood out for their striking simplicity and unexpected details. This advertising image for L’Oréal cosmetics likens a model’s lips to a painter’s palette—offering an enticing twist on conventional representations of beauty.

— Permanent collection label

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)

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 10 Permanent Collection Rotation, November 21, 2015-May 8, 2016.

Publication History

Penn, Irving. 1991. "Passage: A Work Record." Knopf. p. 261. (other print of this image)

Lundström, Jan-Erik. 1995. “Irving Penn fotografier: en donation till mine av Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn/Irving Penn Photographs: A Donation in Memory of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn.” Exh. cat. Moderna Museet/Raster Förlag. p. 123. (other print of this image)

Westerbeck, Colin. 1997. “Irving Penn: A Career in Photography.” Exh. cat. Art Institute of Chicago/Bulfinch Press. p. 86, cat. 136, pl. 37.

Ownership History

Given by the artist to the Art Institute, 1996.