c. 1932-1939

Theodore Roszak

(American, 1907-1981)

Gelatin silver print, photogram

Image: 13.9 x 10.9 cm (5 1/2 x 4 5/16 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1989.396



Only after Roszak’s death did knowledge of a small but important group of photograms created by the sculptor in the 1930s become widespread. He created these unique prints without the aid of a camera- there are no negatives. He instead placed objects directly onto photographic paper and exposed them to light. Using this technique he was able to achieve a remarkable tonal range, from velvety black to right white. Other than wire mesh and sheets of torn paper, the individual objects integrated into this compelling, ambiguous work are difficult to identify. The composition and mood of the photographs, with their emphasis on geometry and abstraction, are similar to Roszak’s constructions of this period.

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