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Nice little piece on the elegant Lisa Fonssagrives in connection with an Irving Penn exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photos.


Undoubtedly, some of her most iconic images were shot by Penn. More interested in portraits and still lifes than fashion shoots, Penn found in Fonssagrives someone equally obsessed with the formal aspects of photography. With her expert posing and command of photographic techniques, she was transformed into a statuesque mermaid in a Rochas gown, and a Picasso harlequin in a black-and-white checkered Balenciaga robe.


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Thanks for the heads up. According to the Bomb magazine interview link, Lisa Fonssagrives apparently had a whole carreer before Irving Penn and Vogue - with her first husband Fernand Fonssagrives who was a dancer and later a photographer. They both studied with Mary Wigman in Berlin, then taught dance, later came to the US on the basis of his photos of her, where she worked at Harper's Bazaar with Carmel Snow for eight years (according to another interview in Acne Paper #13). She eventually worked – collaborated – with 35 photographers.


Photograph here by Frances McLaughlin Gill (who I didn't realize til now is the twin sister of Kathryn Abbe).





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Thanks for the link. Fonssagrives took up sculpting in later years and had a couple of one-woman shows. She said that she saw posing as creating shapes or words along those lines. I'm sure her background in dance was an influence as well.

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