richard avedon at gagosian gallery (522 w 21 st, new york) open thru july 27, 2012
a truly incredible exhibit. avedon was a brilliant and thoughtful man who produced work that always leaves me without words. although there’s only a glimpse of this on the gagosian site (but beautifully displayed in the actual exhibit), avedon spent some time in vietnam during the war, and had so many tragically beautiful photos of vietnamese napalm and tiger-cage victims. they are devastating but so compelling, i had difficulty tearing myself away from them. alongside these photos are all the decorated soldiers as well as the ruthless scumbag politicians that created the senseless horror that was the vietnam war.
this exhibit did an exquisite job of collapsing the time separating the impact of these icons, and creating a cohesive narrative of the turbulent political culture of the sixties/early seventies.
in high school (2002/3) i saw a retrospective of avedon’s work at the metropolitan museum of art (photo of marilyn monroe courtesy met archives), that in essence shattered my tiny little sixteen year old brain. i left gagosian today feeling a very similar sensation in my head.