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.
16 hours 43 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Design Episodes: The Modern Chair
Explore the evolution of the modern chair in the 20th century with iconic examples from makers like Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, and Harry Bertoia, among others.
THE MODERN CHAIR—http://bit.ly/290kO9p
21 hours 49 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Head Dressing: The Art of Crowns, Helmets, Hats, and Hairstyles in Africa
Explore the hair and head fashions of societies across Africa in this focused exhibition, fashions that reflect beliefs about beauty, identity, power, and personal transformation.
3 days 22 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Seven facts you probably didn't know about Edward Hopper’s New York Movie.
Now on view in the exhibition America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s.