26/07/2009 · Paul Strand Essay By Nadia Arnold
His career of more than 60 years is currently being honored at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art with the show Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography, which runs through January 4, 2015.
Paul Strand (October 16, 1890 ..
included work by Antonin Artaud, Richard, Avedon, , Peter Berg, Wallace Berman, Richard Brautigan, Bryden, William Burroughs, Martin Carey, Neil Cassady, Fidel Castro, Don Cochran, , Gregory Corso, Dangerfield, Kirby Doyle, William (Bill) Fritsch (aka Sweet Willie Tumbleweed), Allen Ginsberg, , Dave Hazelwood, George Hermes, Linn House, , Billy Landout, Norman Mailer, Don Martin, , George Metesky, George Montana, Malcolm X, Natural Suzanne, Huey Newton, Pam Parker, Rose-a-Lee, David Simpson, , Ron Thelin, Rip Torn, Time Inc., , Thomas Weir, Gerard Winstanley, and Anonymous.
The brilliant American photographer/filmmaker Strand (1890–1976) led a long and accomplished life, leaving a body of work that had profound influence on a variety of other artists. His early photographs, nurtured by Lewis Hine and Alfred Stieglitz, epitomized the burgeoning modernist spirit then infusing the culture, and was coeval with both cubism and abstraction. He later moved on to social-realist filmmaking and photo-essay formats that approached the ethnographic while further exploring the arresting compositional and textural qualities at which he so excelled. Some familiar images, such as the penetrating character portraits and abstracted urban landscapes, are pure genius. Strand’s influence on visual culture seems underacknowledged: aspects of his vision are discernible in such diverse places as the work of Saul Bass, Roy Liechtenstein, and Frank Gehry, not to mention later photographers such as William Eggleston and Mary Ellen Mark. Strand’s widow gave the Philadelphia Museum of Art a large collection of his prints, which, in addition to numerous other acquisitions, forms the largest repository of his work, and the core of the marvelous retrospective which this beautifully produced book augments. Containing over 250 plates and three solid essays mapping his life’s work, a better overview of an important artist is hard to imagine. An overdue, fitting tribute to one of the great American masters of the 20th century, filled with mesmerizing artistic photography.