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San Francisco: “Radical Beauty” à la Irving Penn

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Starting June 30 in San Francisco, the Fraenkel Gallery pays tribute to the late Irving Penn. Unlike most odes to the photographer, this one will not focus on his fashion portraiture but on his appreciation for diverse ideas of human beauty and ability to contrast the grotesque with the transcendent. The 30 images on display in "Radical Beauty 1946-2007" include three 1940s female nudes of generous weight (which were not displayed until 30 years after their creation) and portraits of native Papua New Guinea warriors with pierced nasal septums and bush arrows. Many of the photographs feature elegant bodies reminiscent of the high-fashion models Penn usually photographed, but with obscured faces; his famous Football Face is among them. On view through August 20 at 49 Geary St., 4th floor; 415-981-2661; fraenkelgallery.com.

Mouth (for L'Oréal), New York, 1986 Copyright by the Irving Penn Foundation

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