“Richard Avedon: Evidence, 1944–1994” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
March 23–June 26, 1994
In a culture that deems the celebrity snaps of Annie Leibovitz worthy of a multi-city, international retrospective, it should come as no surprise to find Richard Avedon regarded as an Old Master. The Whitney Museum’s “Evidence, 1944–1994” is the photographer’s second retrospective at a major New York museum, the first having taken place at the Metropolitan just over fifteen years ago.
It seems that the kind of photography of which Avedon really is a master—fashion work of the sort done for Harper’s Bazaar in the Forties and Fifties, which yielded icons such as his Dovima with Elephants—now embarrasses him, for it is absent from the show. This has allowed Avedon to reinvent himself, to liquidate Avedon the fashion...