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Irving Penn and Issey Miyake: Visual Dialogue
Written by In the document   
Published: April 23 2011

Exhibition poster, designed by Taku Sato
(photo above) "Poppy: Glowing Embers", New York, 1968
(photo below) "Flower Pleats (Issey Miyake Design)", New York, 1990
Photographs copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation

Photographer Irving Penn and Designer Issey Miyake - 1987-1999

The exhibition will focus upon the creations that resulted from a rare visual dialogue between Irving Penn and Issey Miyake.

Irving Penn (1917 - 2009) is one of most renowned photographers in America, known best for his fashion, portraiture and still life photography. Issey Miyake's first real encounter with Irving Penn came in 1982 during the photographer's first "sitting" where Miyake's clothing was to be used for an editorial page of Vogue. When he saw the resulting photos, Miyake was startled by their perspective. He saw his designs through a totally new set of eyes. Based upon this, he asked Penn to photograph some of his designs.

For the next 13 years, from 1987 through the Autumn/Winter Collection of 1999, Irving Penn photographed ISSEY MIYAKE's biennial collections. Miyake never came to the photo sittings, but instead chose to entrust the vision of his clothes entirely to Penn. This unusual decision to offer Penn complete freedom gave rise to an incredible "visual dialogue" between the two creators. Penn took 250 photos of Miyake's designs, many of which were used as collection posters, exhibitions, or in published photo collections.

Under the direction of Midori Kitamura, Miyake's trusted colleague, the exhibition features both the individual as well as collaborative work of these two men, who not only inspired each other's artistic visions but also challenged their own work via their unique collaboration. In addition to photographs taken by Irving Penn, items on display will include original photo prints created by Penn, collection posters, sketches he used to prepare for photo sittings, as well as an animated video illustrating the process from designing clothing to finally making the poster.

Exhibition Director: Midori Kitamura
Installation: Shigeru Ban
Graphic Design: Taku Satoh

* The text provided by 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT.

Ddates: September 16, 2011 - April 8, 2012
Venue: 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT

Last Updated on September 16 2011

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