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Sale 2506 Lot 179
AARON SISKIND (1903-1991)
Set of 50 signed photographs of many of Siskind's best-known images. Includes 30 graphic abstractions, 2 sublime floating figures, architectural studies, and more. Silver prints, the images measuring 8 3/4x9 1/2 to 14x11 inches (22.2x24.1 to 35.6x27.9 cm.), and the reverse, the sheets 14x11 inches (35.6x27.9 cm.), two with Siskind's signature, in ink, on recto; the remaining with his signature, title, and date, in pencil, and inventory notations, also in pencil, in an unknown hand, on verso. Circa 1938-80; printed 1970s-80
Estimate $40,000 - 60,000
Acquired directly from Aaron Siskind; to a Private New York Collector, 1980.
Siskind was an exuberant artist who was influenced by artistic currents associated with Abstract Expressionist painters. He was interested in translating how objects and materials associated with everyday life could be seen as powerful photographic symbols. Focusing his attention on textured walls, fragments of graffiti, popular signage, repetition in architecture, and silhouetted organic forms, Siskind posited a universally recognizable pictorial vocabulary. He traveled extensively throughout New York, New England, Chicago, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, Peru, Mexico, and Italy discovering the pleasures of the quotidian, which he elevated into unprecedented aesthetic expressions of personal creativity.
Kline's influence is readily apparent in these bold black-and-white abstract prints which, in the 1940s-50s, were groundbreaking explorations of an innovative form of photographic seeing. Siskind's ability to capture how such tropes and motifs were clearly transcultural underscores his character as a humanist.