Photograph Strand, Paul  (American, 1890-1976)

"When in 1915 Stieglitz saw Strand’s radically new approach to photography, which embraced the inherent characteristics of the medium and its materials together with the ideas of the artistic avant-garde, he felt committed, once again, to communicate in Camera Work the importance of photography as a vital art form. Stieglitz had been striving for precisely this synthesis of formal abstraction and poetic expressiveness, a synthesis which embodied an American aesthetic and syntax. In his October 1916 issue of Camera Work, Stieglitz wrote of Strand: ‘His work is rooted in the best traditions of photography. His vision is potential. His work is pure. It is direct. It does not rely upon tricks of process. In whatever he does there is applied intelligence. In the history of photography there are but few photographers who, from the point of view of expression, have really done work of any importance. And by importance we mean work that has some relatively lasting quality, that element which gives all art its real significance’" (Kaspar M. Fleischmann in American Photography: Local and Global Contexts).

In Strand, Stieglitz saw a new voice, one that plumbed the visual world for its abstract qualities, in keeping with the rise of interest in abstraction among avant-garde painters and sculptors.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Foster, Sheila J, Manfred Heiting, and Rachel Stuhlman. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007 p. 213

Gernsheim, Helmut. Creative Photography. Aesthetic Trends 1839-1960. [with Illustrations.]. London: Faber & Faber, 1962. p. 150

Greenough, Sarah, and William C. Agee. Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries ; [catalog of an Exhibition Held at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 28 January – 22 April 2001]. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2000. no. 81.

Homer, William I. Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Guarde. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1979. no. 123.

Newhall, Beaumont. The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present. , 2012. p. 175.

Stange, Maren, Robert Adams, and Alan Trachtenberg. Paul Strand: Essays on His Life and Work. New York: Aperture, 1990. no. 3.

Szarkowski, John. The Photographer’s Eye. New York: Museum of modern art, 2007 P. 95