Jan 2, 2014
Jan 2, 2014

Electric Back

Electric Back


Josef Breitenbach

(American, 1896-1984)

Gelatin silver print, montage

Image: 34.2 x 26.8 cm (13 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.); Paper: 35.4 x 27.9 cm (13 15/16 x 11 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2007.145



Fleeing Germany in 1933, Breitenbach moved to Paris where he joined Surrealist circles. Although he never referred to himself as a Surrealist, he shared their aesthetic concerns and favored techniques including montage, solarization, and the photogram, all of which are employed in Electric Back. Emigrating to New York in 1942, Breitenbach applied Surrealist techniques to commercial assignments such as Electric Back, one of a group of montages made to illustrate a McCall’s Magazine story. The llustration shows how the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, stimulates the adrenal glands to fight disease. A different image from the series was published.

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