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New Richard Avedon retrospective to showcase early Versace partnership

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Richard Avedon Foundation

An exhibition celebrating the work of photographer Richard Avedon will debut in Milan during fashion week in September.

Housed at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, the exhibition will feature over 100 of Avedon’s iconic photographs and works.

Spanning a career of over sixty years, the retrospective will show images on loan from the collection of the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) in Tucson and the Richard Avedon Foundation. Both Vogue Italia and Versace collaborated to bring the exhibition to Milan, which is to be curated by Rebecca Senf, the collection head of the CCP.

The exhibition will showcase a special dedicated section to the partnership between Avedon and Gianni Versace, which began with the campaign for Versace’s Spring Summer 1980 collection, up until Spring Summer 1998, the first designed by Donatella Versace.

A release about the exhibition states: "Avedon’s work for Versace is the representation of how that unique relationship that is sometimes created between designer and photographer can produce images destined for an area out of time, definitively beyond the circumscribed story they were originally intended for, linked to seasonality. fashion, to revolutionize the global narrative.”

"Thanks to his gaze, Avedon was one of the few photographers to interpret the avant-garde of Gianni Versace, illustrating the style and elegance of the Italian designer, as well as the radicalism of his fashion. Avedon's abstract language acts in a compressed space that enhances the figures making them absolute and making the choreography of the bodies of some of the most celebrated supermodels of the time explode, in convulsive, syncopated movements, which highlight the shape and materiality of the clothes they wear, as in the case of the campaign for the 1993 Spring Summer collection, starring Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, Aya Thorgren and Shalom Harlow.”

The exhibition will also feature a selection of portraits of celebrities from the world of entertainment, actors, dancers, musicians as well as civil rights activists, politicians and writers. The latter merged into the portfolio The Family, created in 1976 for Rolling Stone magazine, which documented the elite of US political power.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Skira, with texts by James Martin, Donatella Versace, Rebecca Senf, Maria Luisa Frisa.

The exhibition runs from 22 September until 29 January 2023.

Richard Avedon