"Most photographers try to make images catchy enough to cause you to pause. Mr. Avedon goes further. He assaults you. his works flaunt their outsize rhetoric and phenomenal virtuosity.
As a result, whatever else they might be, they are unforgettable. You can't avoid them." - Michael Kimmelman, "Images that Burn into the Mind", The New York Times, September 27, 2002.
"Avedon's portraits have had to compete for attention with the relentless inventiveness of his fashion work, but the Met's impeccably installed retrospective allowed for no distractions. From the beginning, Avedon established a middle ground between stylization and naturalism and learned to spark encounters of such indelible intensity that the site's fame is almost beside the point. Though the results are often harsh, they're never pitiless; even when he zeroes in on their fatuousness or discomfort, Avedon lets his subjects burn incandescently bright." - Vince Aletti, ArtForum, 2002