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.
Sponsor Major support for photography exhibitions in the Modern Wing is generously provided by Joyce Chelberg.
5 hours 25 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago On the move! Not to worry, La Grande Jatte will be on view again when Impressionism & Fashion opens June 26.
This beloved painting hasn't left the museum for over 50 years. Learn more on ARTicle—http://ow.ly/ma8dV
10 hours 27 sec ago The Art Institute of Chicago This Thursday—Come to Unveiled in the Modern Wing! See the new exhibition Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door, then meet us for a drink and join in our in-gallery game for a chance to win tickets to upcoming events.
1 day 7 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago "If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?" and other questions with museum director Douglas Druick