Garbage dumped on the street and daily objects, but also models and surreal still lifes make up a universe of a calm and minimalist aesthetic, creating a distilled visual language, characterised by a disarming elegance. Anna Wintour described Irving Penn as having “radically changed the way in which people saw the world and our perception of beauty” and this was, without a doubt, because of the constant search for authenticity undertaken by the American photographer who considered photography “the current stage of the visual history of man”. The Cardi Gallery offers an ample retrospective of the artist, the first occasion in over thirty years for the Milanese public to come face to face with the complexities of his works. Spread over two floors of the gallery, the exhibition, besides embracing fashion photography, explores the special relationship of the artist with Italy, an entire floor being dedicated to this chapter of the artist’s life. The exhibition, curated in collaboration with the The Irving Penn Foundation, includes works created by the artist between the ‘40s and the 90s, situating the work of Penn in specific artistic, social and political contexts. Some of his more iconic works, taken in his studio as well as outside, range from the captivating faces of stars to his impressions of the natural world, exploring the aesthetic of this artist, known for his radical contribution to the modernisation of photography.