January 13 – May 10, 2009
Aaron Siskind (1903–1991) is best known for his abstract photographs, often of natural forms or architectural features that were manipulated in order to produce unfamiliar images.
Siskind minimized the importance of literal representation by carefully distinguishing between a photograph of something—which is a distinct, flat object shaped by the photographer’s perception—and his fully three-dimensional subject or “the thing itself.” This intimate exhibition combined key images from Siskind’s first forays into abstraction with the artist’s own eloquent writings in order to examine the tension inherent in his work: between the artist’s perception and the literal representation of an object.
Curator: Rachel Furnari, Smart Museum curatorial intern and PhD candidate in art history, in consultation with Richard A. Born, Smart Museum senior curator.
Presented in the Joel and Carole Bernstein Gallery for Works on Paper.