Irving Penn, 1917-2009

Photographer Irving Penn died yesterday. Anyone with even a passing interest in modern American design is familiar with his work. He transformed fashion photography from overcrowded set pieces to minimalist abstracts that focused on the clothes and the models themselves. The photo above – one of his most well-known – is of Lisa Fonssagrives, who became his wife.

There’s not much I can say about Penn that isn’t said better in his obituaries, but I couldn’t let his passing go unmentioned here, especially after my last post about General Foods. Penn composed this photograph in 1977:


The title? Frozen Food (with String Beans). The building blocks? BirdsEye frozen vegetables and fruits, of course.

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