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976 Madison Avenue, NY 10075, New York, United States
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Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends

Gagosian 976 Madison Avenue, New York

Sat 11 Nov 2023 to Fri 22 Dec 2023

976 Madison Avenue, NY 10075 Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Lee Miller

Gagosian presents Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends at 976 Madison Avenue, New York. The exhibition centers on the long, fruitful relationship between American photographer Lee Miller (1907–1977) and English Surrealist painter, collector, art historian, and Picasso biographer, Roland Penrose (1900–1984). In addition to photographs by Miller and Penrose, it features paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper by Joseph Cornell, Max Ernst, Dora Maar, Man Ray, Henry Moore, Valentine Penrose, and Pablo Picasso—all artists in their extended network. Curated by Jason Ysenburg and Richard Calvocoressi, Seeing Is Believing also presents letters, albums, and ephemera that trace a history of interconnected lives and relationships.


Installation Views

Installation image for Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends, at Gagosian Installation image for Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends, at Gagosian Installation image for Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends, at Gagosian Installation image for Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends, at Gagosian Installation image for Seeing Is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends, at Gagosian

As a model for American Vogue in the 1920s, Miller was photographed by leading fashion and portrait photographers before traveling to Paris to study with Man Ray. She developed a uniquely Surrealist vision of portraiture and captured many arresting images as a correspondent during World War II. Penrose co-organized the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition that introduced the movement to the United Kingdom, cofounded London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1946, and curated important retrospectives of Picasso and Man Ray.

Summering in the South of France in the 1930s, moving to London at the outbreak of World War II, traveling in the United States after the war, and relocating to East Sussex in 1949, Miller and Penrose cultivated enduring connections with key artists and writers, playing a vital role in the culture of their era. With an emphasis on Surrealism, Seeing Is Believing paints a picture of the creative life the couple shared with their friends.

The exhibition comes at a moment of particular interest in Lee Miller and her circle. Love Letters Bound in Gold Handcuffs, a collection of previously unreleased correspondence between Miller and Penrose that reveals the romance and drama of their forty-year relationship, was published in the United Kingdom in July and will be released this November in the United States.

Making its global premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September is LEE, the directorial debut of renowned cinematographer Ellen Kuras. The film stars Kate Winslet as Miller, with Alexander Skarsgård as Penrose. Based on the book The Lives of Lee Miller (1985) by their son, Antony Penrose, it highlights Miller’s outstanding work as a war photographer and correspondent.

Installation view. Artwork: © Lee Miller Archives, England 2023. All rights reserved. www.leemiller.co.uk. © Man Ray 2015 Trust/ADAGP, Paris 2023 © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Rob McKeever

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