Richard Avedon

Charlene van Tighem, Physical Therapist, 1985

Gelatin-silver print, 138 x 110 cm
Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, permanent loan Andreas Reinhart
Inv. no. 2016-015-001
© The Richard Avedon Foundation, New York

Richard Avedon
1923 (New York, US) – 2004 (San Antonio, US)

With his series In the American West (1979–1984), Richard Avedon produced a provocative alternative to his glossy photographs so adored by the fashion world: homeless people, drifters, miners black with coal dust – people who lived in the shadows of American society. The secret to the intensity of Avedon’s portraits lies in the way he reduces the elements of the picture in order to bring out the essence of his subjects. Fuelled by a genuine interest in the individual and with an eye for sociological stereotypes, Avedon has composed a visual chronicle of America in the 1980s.