Dec 23, 2013
Jun 29, 2010
Dec 23, 2013



c. 1928

El Lissitzky

(Russian, 1890–1941)

Gelatin silver print from a photogram negative

Image: 29.4 x 23.5 cm (11 9/16 x 9 1/4 in.); Paper: 29.5 x 25.6 cm (11 5/8 x 10 1/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2007.147



A figure peers through a magnifying glass at a negative of an image of Paris taken by Lissitzky in 1928. The artist’s interest in the photogram and negative images may relate to his experience of being x-rayed for tuberculosis in 1924. Later that decade, Lissitzky experimented extensively with positive and negative versions of photograms. A photogram provides a negative image of the objects placed on the sensitized paper. Using the photogram as a negative creates a positive print. Printing a mix of positive and negative images on the same sheet of paper allowed Lissitzky to add a sense of three dimensionality to the silhouettes.

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