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Abstraction, Twin Lakes, Connecticut

Paul Strand (American, New York 1890–1976 Orgeval, France)

Silver-platinum print
32.8 x 24.4 cm (12 15/16 x 9 5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
©1997, Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive.
  • Description

    This picture is among the first photographic abstractions to be made intentionally. When Alfred Stieglitz published a variant of it in "Camera Work," he praised Strand's results as "the direct expression of today." Porch shadows and tipped-over tables are not intrinsically modern, but Strand's picture of them is, for it does not depend upon recognizable imagery for its effect, but rather on the precise relations of forms within the frame. This print, the only one Strand seems to have made from the negative, is on Satista paper, a wartime replacement for platinum papers.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed in pencil on mount, recto, lower right beneath image: "-Paul Strand. 1916-"

  • Provenance

    [Robert Miller Gallery, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (April 7, 1984)

  • Notes

    John Waddell states that Van Deren Coke provided the following information: This is a contact print on Satista paper (made by the Platinotype Company during WWI as a substitute for unavailable platinum papers) from an enlarged negative. Susan Harris (Arts Magazine, April 1985) states that this picture was made with a British Ensign Reflex camera producing 3-1/4 x 4-1/4" negatives, here enlarged by projection to make a larger negative for this contact print.

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