Exhibit turns an eye on notions of feminine beauty

Tyra Banks once said, “I’m not ugly, but my beauty is a total creation.” You can see both creations and critiques of beauty at a new exhibit in Century City.
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The Annenberg Space for Photography’s BEAUTY CULTURE explores how feminine beauty is defined, revered and challenged in modern society, featuring works from iconic photographers such as Albert Watson, Bert Stern, Herb Ritts, Man Ray, Jean-Paul Goude, ORLAN, Guy Bourdin, Horst, Melvin Sokolsky, Ellen von Unwerth, Lillian Bassman, Matthew Rolston, Philippe Halsman, Lauren Greenfield, Susan Anderson, Tyen and Carrie May Weems. There are 175 images on display in the print gallery.

Ava Gardner's portrait by Ray Jones is part of the show's Hollywood section.

Organizers say they hope to spur dialogue about beauty’s allure and mystique as well as the cultlike glorification and multibillion-dollar industries that surround it. “As much as beauty can astonish and inspire, it can also corrupt and subvert, rendering all else – and even itself – broken and obsolete,” says Wallis Annenberg, board chairman, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.

Show themes include:
*Dreams on Paper: The Pin-Up Girl
*Beauty, Inc.: The $300 Billion Cosmetics Industry
*The Marilyn Syndrome
*The Hollywood Glamour Machine: Vamps, Vixens and Bombshells
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Visitors can also see a short documentary film directed by Lauren Greenfield as well as a digital slideshow and an interactive digital salon. In the salon, guests can alter images of themselves by changing their features (such as hair color, eye color and facial structure) and by applying cosmetics. Images can then be emailed or uploaded to Facebook.
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Additionally, a Thursday-night lecture series, starting June 2, features photographers and editors discussing their experiences in the industry and their perspectives on photography’s role in defining beauty. The lectures are free to the public with advance registration.
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Details, details
Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, CA, 90067, 213-403-3000. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free. The exhibit runs through Nov. 27.
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Ava Gardner photo from the film “The Killers,” copyright 1946 Ray Jones, Universal.
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