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The photographs of Richard Avedon are the subject of this exhibition at Staley- Wise.  Avedon/Paris 1947-1957, is a collection of eleven fashion photographs gleaned from his most famous sittings.  They reflect the golden age of the fashion photograph in terms of originality of concept, elegance, sophistication, and wit, which are evident in each photograph.  The legendary models including Dovima, Suzy Parker, Dorian Leigh, and Carmen wearing haute couture make a forceful argument for the inclusion of this body of work in the canon of masterpieces of photography.

In Memory of the Late Mr. & Mrs. Comfort: a Fable in 24 Episodes appeared in The New Yorker magazine in November 1995 and features the extraordinary model Nadja Auermann as Mrs. Comfort and a lively skeleton as Mr. Comfort.  In intensely saturated colors the story of destruction, disarray, desolation, and demolition is cinematically played out and open to interpretation on many levels.  This body of work was a shocking departure from any of Avedon’s previous work, and its beauty, violence, and humor evoke strong responses from the viewer.

Richard Avedon was born in New York in 1923, and he soon rose to fame as the protégé of Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar.  His talent was evident at an early age, and he soon became one of the foremost fashion and portrait photographers of his day.  Always exploring new paths, he produced work of emotional complexity, always with his signature elements of style and elegance.  He died in 2004.

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