Review

THE CONCEPT
OF LINES

RICHARD AVEDON, GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE, IRVING PENN
WERKE AUS DER SAMMLUNG F.C. GUNDLACH

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House of Photography 17 November 2016 — 12 February 2017

Hoyningen-Huene, Avedon, and Penn – each of these photographers is per se an absolute highlight in the history of American photography. The highly subtle treatment of the line is one of the significant characteristics that in particular unites the works of these three icons of American photography. By devoting particular attention to the creative use of the line, George Hoyningen-Huene, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn can be distinguished from one another by the different ways they treat this feature.

The critical inquiry into the individual line, the ingenious elaboration of the effect of each line that carefully separates the pictorial elements from one another – or connects them, for that matter – functions as the creative element that structures the pictorial surface; it becomes the graphic intermediary within the process of photographic transposition from three to two dimensions. The extremely high graphic quality of the oeuvre of these three photographers derives from the line, which can be defined in completely different ways in the various thematic areas and depending on the respective style of the individual photographer.

This exhibition is unique in the way that it spurs interaction between the works of the three photographers, with a selection of images that focus on portraits, the body, and fashion. The show concentrates on works by the artist that are held in the photography collection of F.C. Gundlach, which is on permanent loan to the Deichtorhallen/House of Photography.

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