Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon
Richard Avedon

Santa Monica Beach #4 photograph 1963 [printed 1993] gelatin silver print, edition of 9 signed, numbered by the photographer on verso 23 3/8 x 19 1/8 inches


The iconic photograph of Santa Monica Beach #4 by Richard Avedon is a powerful image from a series of photographs captured on Santa Monica Beach, California in 1964. Avedon wandered along the beach with his 35mm Pentax camera. In the dim, fading light of dusk he documented several touching moments, including the liberating scene of a man holding up a boy with the triumphant virility of that resembling an Olympian statue. The spur of the moment shots, however, were severely undeveloped to the point that they yielded only faint traces. Avedon firmly believed he could somehow reveal the hidden images, using every means in the darkroom to salvage genuine moments he photographed. The result was considered to be more effective by leading critics than if the photographs were properly exposed.


Avedon, An Autobiography, Random House, 1993, pl. 59; Avedon, Livingston and Gopnik, Evidence 1944-1994, Random House, p 146; The Whitney Museum of American Art, Avedon Retrospective 1994, p. 146; Richard Avedon Photographs 1946-2004, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 67

Avedon has received numerous awards and museum exhibitions around the world, and his retrospective exhibitions were held in international institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, University Art Museum in Berkeley, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, and The International Center of Photography. His artworks are in the collections of major institutions worldwide.

© The Richard Avedon Foundation