Avedon @ The Gagosian

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Opening today at the Gagosian in New York, Richard Avedon's Murals & Portraits. Against the backdrop of America's social and political transformation, Avedon began to create four photographic murals between 1969 and 1971 which would be unprecedented in scale and pointed in subject. Between 20 to 35 feet wide and comprising up to five panels, the murals revealed a striking new format in which subjects were positioned frontally and aligned against a stark white background. This intensity of characterization and confrontational aspect typifies Avedon's portraits; his subjects exist larger than life, stripped of all artifice by an unflinching eye. His mural groupings featured emblematic figures: Andy Warhol with the players and stars of The Factory; The Chicago Seven, political radicals charged with conspiracy to incite riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and his extended family; and the Mission Council, a group of military and government officials who governed the United States' participation in the Vietnam War. Murals and Portraits will be on view from May 4 to July 6 at the Gagosian, 522 West 21, New York.