Irving Penn (1917 – 2009) was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Penn’s work has been exhibited internationally and continues to inform the art of photography. His repertoire includes portraits of some of the most important artists of the 20th century. The artist was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and he effectively used this simplicity. Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner. Penn’s manipulation of formal design elements such as light and shadow, and his ability to capture a significant gesture, expression, or mood, ultimately reveal something intriguing about his subjects.