Lisette Model (American, born Austria, 19011983)
Gelatin silver print; 10 13/16 x 13 1/8 in. (27.5 x 33.3 cm)
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1988 (1988.1029)
Originally a student of the avant-garde Viennese pianist Arnold Schoenberg, Model began making photographs in Paris in 1933. Two years later, the French periodical Regards published selections from her first series, Promenade des Anglais, a satirical look at middle-class tourists on the French Riviera that foreshadowed the brash, confrontational style that would become her trademark. Her emigration to America in 1938 inspired two additional series, Reflections and Running Legs, from which this piece is drawn. The unusual, "belly-down" perspective, as well as the grainy, overwrought appearance of the print, evokes the hurried pace and overwhelming cacophony of Wall Street at rush hour and recalls the atonal experiments of her early musical training in Vienna.