Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976)
Gelatin silver print, Image: 24.4 x 19.3 cm (9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1984.34
For a brief period during the first half of the 1920s, Strand created a remarkable group of precisionist photographs, close-up portraits of the Akeley Motion Picture Camera, machine gears, and in this picture, the lathe in the Akeley machine shop. All are studies of the modern machine, not just as a mechanical object, but as a form with dynamic aesthetic qualities. Relating to the European avant-garde of the 1910s, this photograph eloquently expresses Strand’s preoccupation with the surface, form, and volume of mechanical objects. Precisely cropped and lit, the energetic composition is a cavalcade of different geometric shapes, all pristinely rendered.
CMA, January 24 - April 9, 1989: The Precisionist Aesthetic in American Art."CMA, November 20,1996 - February 2, 1997: "Legacy of Light: Seven Masters in Depth."Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; 11/16/97 - 3/1/98. "Industry and Photography: Selections from the Permanent Collection."MOCA Cleveland (6/9/2006 - 8/20/2006): "The Persistence of Geometry: Form, Content and Culture in the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art", no. 67, p. 119, repr. p. 71.The Cleveland Museum of Art (6/24/07 - 9/16/07); "Icons of American Photography: A Century of Photographs from the Cleveland Museum of Art", no exhibition catalogue.
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