The Art of the Photogravure
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Paul Strand

PAUL STRAND enjoyed a long career in photography, producing significant work from the 1910s until shortly before his death in 1976. His early mentor, Alfred Stieglitz, presented Strand's startlingly abstract work in the last two issues of Camera Work, in 1916 and 1917. Printed in photogravure, these early modernist images featured dark shadows, strong contrasts and employed disorienting camera positions. For most of his life, however, Strand produced realistic images of people, places, and things imbued with a strong sense of pathos and humanism.

Strand, a lasting proponent of photogravure, chose the process for his seminal portfolio Photographs of Mexico in 1940—27 years later he reissued it as The Mexican Portfolio. The 20 images in these portfolios, printed from the same set of plates, reveal Strand's compassion for the country's indigenous people. On 1931, Strand photographed in New Mexico and moved south of the border the following year. During 1933, he sensitively photographed Mexican buildings, religious objects and people, celebrating their pride, dignity and endurance. These post-revolutionary themes recurred in the work of contemporaneous Mexican painters such as Diego Rivera.

Strand's commitment to producing high-quality photogravures for both Mexican portfolios is a clear testament to his belief that the photogravure process was capable of yielding the finest results achievable in photographic printmaking.

Paul Strand, Gateway Hidalgo
Paul Strand, 1890 - 1976. Denotes An Original
Gateway Hidalgo. 1933.
20.3 x 27.9 cm