NEW YORK, NY.- Aperture Gallery
presents an intimate exhibition featuring the work of one of the most important photographers and artists of the twentieth century, Paul Strand. The exhibition is comprised of thirty-six printstwenty-two of which are vintagespanning 1922 through 1967, as well as ephemera including letters, first edition books (some of which were Strands personal copies), Strands cameras, a vintage poster of his 1945 solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and even Strands maquette for a never-published book on his Romanian work. The show features work made in New York, New England, the American Southwest, Italy, the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland, and France, including Strands exquisite photographs of his garden at Orgeval, where he spent the last years of his life. Among the selected photographs are several portraits of his first wife, Rebecca.
The Paul Strand show opened coinciding with the opening of The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography, curated by Lyle Rexer, in Apertures main gallery space. The Edge of Vision is a group show featuring the work of nineteen contemporary artists who challenge photography's representational qualities in favor of other possibilities. Strand was of the great American modernists who championed the use of the "straight photograph" as a means of approaching abstraction. His work is featured in the accompanying book, The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography, which traces the impulse towards abstraction from the birth of photography to the present. Strands show offers an historical counterpoint to the main exhibition, which exclusively features contemporary artists.
Paul Strand was born in New York City in 1890, and began photographing at the age of eighteen. His early association with Alfred Stieglitz and the artists who were exhibited at 291 Gallery in New York ignited his lifelong devotion to photography. An acknowledged practitioner of still photography, in 1921 Strand turned to filmmaking, adding films Manhatta (1921) and The Wave (1934) to his artistic achievements. In 1945 The Museum of Modern Art devoted its first one-man photography exhibition to Strands work. His innovative photographic books published by Aperture include Time in New England, La France de Profil, Un Paese: Portrait of an Italian Village, and Tir aMhurain: The Outer Hebrides of Scotland. In 1971, the largest and most significant exhibition of Strands work traveled to major museums in America and Europe. Strand died in Orgeval, France in 1976.
In 1983, the Paul Strand Archive, which contains Strands the entire lifes work, was bequeathed to Aperture Foundation. This unprecedented gift created one of the worlds most important photographic archives, which, under Apertures direction, is made available to photographers and scholars, as well as the public at large.
Aperture has just reissued Paul Strand: Sixty Years of Photographs, a long-unavailable Aperture classic, and one of the most comprehensive surveys of the power and breadth of Strands career. The re-release of this volumewhich features a biographical profile by Calvin Tomkins and excerpts from Strand's correspondence, interviews, and other documentsmakes one of photography's major artists newly accessible.