four-section platinum palladium print

Photograph by Irving Penn%2C %C2%A9 by Irving Penn

Cigarette No. 37, New York, 1972

Not on Viewexpand_more

Considered one of the best portrait and fashion photographers, Irving Penn, throughout his life, made work separate from his commercial career, including still-life studies of trash that pushed the boundaries of the beautiful. In 1972 he produced a series of photographs of cigarette butts, gathered on the street and brought back to the studio, where he placed them on a white background and photographed them with the same care and elegant dignity that characterized his fashion photographs. Penn chose the series of cigarette butts as the first that he printed exclusively with the platinum process, a historical monochromatic printing process involving the very expensive metal platinum. The subtle tonal range and lush, velvety surface of his meticulously printed platinum photographs enrich the sooty, charred ends of the wrinkled and dirty butts, lending a luxurious appeal to the discarded debris that verges on the ironic.

Cigarette No. 37, New York
Artist Life
1917 - 2009
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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four-section platinum palladium print

Photograph by Irving Penn, © by Irving Penn

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