Lot 248: SISKIND, AARON (1903-1991)
IMPORTANT 19TH & 20TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHS
October 19, 2004
New York, NY, USA
Description: Untitled. Silver print, 19 1/4x23 3/4 inches (48.9x60.3 cm.), with Siskind's signature and date, in pencil, on mount verso; flush mounted to masonite with wood supports. 1953
An early work by Siskind demonstrating his lifelong association with Abstract Expressionism, in which the artist expresses himself through the use of form and tone. Just as his painter-friends Yves Kline, Robert Motherwell and Willem DeKooning revolutionized the practice of painting, Siskind radicalized photography--which was then almost entirely dismissed as an art form. His non-figurative images confounded critics of his time but greatly influenced other photographers.
In a Credo Siskind wrote: "When I make a photograph I want it to be an altogether new object, complete and self-contained, whose basic condition is order (unlike the world of events and actions whose permanent condition is change and disorder).... It has been suggested that these shapes and images are underworld characters, the inhabitants of the vast common realm of memories that have gone down below the level of conscious control. It may be they are. However, I must stress that my own interest is immediate and in the picture." See: aaron siskind 100 (New York: Powerhouse Books, 2004).