Paul Strand, the realism of
" Anywhere remote or otherwise, which is Morocco, the Hebrides islands, the
rural Italy, in Africa or in the deep southwest of the
United.States, my intention
was to be in search of long aggregation that each place the its peculiar
quality and plasma profiles of its peoples ........ So in the end, I realize
that what I have for life is the world to my front door ".
words plays like an epitaph, instead they are the short introduction of the
book " On my doorstep ", wrote before the dead.
soaked of sadness for the illness that obliged him to leave the only
thing he had loved with such passion.
embody the realism of photography, even if in his career is easy to find
some incoherence, when the images had a sharp and unconscius obiection to
ancient times the painting and photography are compared, they have hold an
high esteem, but at the same times you hate it.
Both have the merit of imagination, interpretation and the reality of the
fantastic, giving a person a sense to look at creativity and the ability to
be able to admire the infinite nuances of objects and subjects.
In youth, Paul Strand had not yet fully understood, but in the full maturity
his portraits will target primarily the building of the painting although
certainly in different spheres.
Strand was born in New York at the end of the last century from a bourgeois
family. The orientation of the study is addressed to art and literature, but
will choose to do the job of photographer that only a part of leave to
engage in some of the experiences of director, which completely satisfied
In this branch will be rewarded many times and will carry out some movies.
If the first
times are dubious and not very defined, the career will have two main
turning - point: after the first images in publicity, where the photographer
known the works of poor gratification, the meeting with Alfred Stieglitz is
crucial to be known to a wider audience and especially to lead the elite
culture of New York.
years of the first war Stieglitz is a person intuitive, full of ideas. He
organizes exhibitions of Impressionist, Cubist, which subvert the aesthetic
criteria of the nineteenth century and then of photographers secessionist on
the Fifth Avenue in the Big Apple.
the first show in the gallery to be able to appreciate and begin a
collaboration with the magazine Camera Works.
a master of American current that will provide a way of
representing images in a way unique. He has a large influence on a
generation of photographers: Ansel Adams, Minor White, E. Steichen, E.
Weston, Berenice Abbott and others.
Paul Strand will fit perfectly into this school of photography, even if
we say that the critics in their debates have often collected several artist
under a single section without taking account of some technical differences
In fact the
Universal landscape of Ansel Adams, epic, of extraordinary sharpness with
innovative methods of printing and without people in the scenes, as is
second-to Minor White, or the ductile images and experimental of Weston,
could not be compared to some aesthetes, as good, but basically the
André Kertesz has always been the subject of open discussion among
historians, who are wondering if it has become an American photographer, in
the sense of visual expression, when the origins were in Hungary and only in
the maturity he takes U.S. citizenship.
meeting of major importance in the artistic career of Strand place after
several travels. At conference in Perugia the photographer known
Cesare Zavattini with whom will come an opportunity for to make
the book " A country ".
offers the option of telling the beauty and the emotions of an rural Italy
in the postwar. Strand enter with camera in the spontaneity and
humility of the villages, takes faces and expressions, showing the
relationships between residents, sometimes taking up the objects and local
hand - made.
are written of Zavattini while the images are of Luzzara town, a place where
neo-realist director was born who dispenses advices on the peculiarities of
the community at the time of particular social changes.
idea of narrating these places in a dialogue of pen and negative in perfect
symbiosis with the time and space, to the photographer must acknowledge
enormous credit for having undertaken a precise observation of a hope in the
country, waiting for a better future but with a willingness of to work and
build, where the mental spectrum of the Second World War was not entirely
Strand had already crossed the experience of " Time in New England "
and especially " Le profil de France " that made him know the
lifestyles in Europe, at very different than Americans, but that probably
had not met from a cultural point of view and ideal.
has always like the black and white never manipulated with chemical tricks,
while the stamps were at platinum or palladium, for to extrapolate the
purity of tonal range. It was never in high contrast.
photographer uses a large equipment: folding in external spaces, which
require patience and precision, for to get a perfect focus on the glass.
Often, he takes simple shots without a formal aestheticism.
Hebridi Island, 1954
Hebridi Islands, 1954
Luzzara, Italy, 1953
All images are protected
of copyright - Paul Strand / Aperture Foundation