American, 1923 — 2004
Richard Avedon became famous as a fashion photographer before gradually opening up, for the rest of his career, to making portraits of celebrities from around the world. Alongside glamour, the American photographer did not overlook the anonymous and forlorn. Series devoted to the patients of a psychiatric institute in Louisiana or the victims of napalm in the Vietnam War recall a more social and political dimension of his art.
Avedon’s refined aesthetics often reveal, in one shot, his models’ personality, exposing them and bringing them to light with great originality. Considering that the "portrait is not a likeness", he added manipulations and dramatic artifices in his choices of staging, always with great sobriety.
Avedon's work, a priceless legacy for the world of photography, is represented in the Pinault Collection by many of his photographs, exhibited for the first time at the exhibition “Au-delà de la couleur” (“Beyond Colour”) at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes in June 2021.