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Joan Juliet Buck Talks Richard Avedon Exhibit

The former editor in chief of French Vogue, greeted admirers and old friends Tuesday night at the Gagosian Shop on the Upper East Side

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AVEDON'S INSPIRATION: Joan Juliet Buck, former editor in chief of French Vogue, greeted admirers and old friends Tuesday night at the Gagosian Shop on the Upper East Side, in both French and English. Buck, along with China Machado, an ex-Harper's Bazaar editor and former muse of Richard Avedon, sat behind a long table signing the exhibition catalogue "Avedon: Women."

While Machado's photograph appears in the book of portraits of women from Avedon's 60-plus-year career, Buck's writing accompanies the photographs. Indeed, Buck and Abigail Solomon-Godeau compiled a series of essays to commemorate the exhibition, which served as inspiration for the catalogue. That exhibit was held at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21.

Although the gathering was small, a few familar faces showed up to congratulate Buck, including Derek Blasberg, who will be working with the gallery to "broaden" its reach by adding his perspective to its promote artists, according to Gagosian.

But the night was about Avedon, and the women he photographed, said Buck, who explained that she was first tapped for the project to interview June Leaf.

"She was the first woman he [Avedon] photographed when he started to shoot real people. June Leaf is like the purest Madonna," Buck said.

"There's been a lot of talk about beauty and fashion. The lens that choses beauty for a fashion magazine is also the lens that choses what is transcendant about beauty."