© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022


The Court, New York
Paul Strand
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Printed area size: 25,2 × 19,8 cm
Born: Nueva York, 1890
Died: Orgeval, Francia, 1976

© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022


In 1913 an exhibition took place in New York that signified a turning point for the acceptance and subsequent development of avant-garde art in the United States. The legacy of the Armory Show, which traced a line through modern art ranging from Goya to Duchamp, encompassed all disciplines including photography. Like many other artists of his generation, Paul Strand visited the show and felt the impact of the avant-garde propositions that arrived from Europe.

One of the major tendencies of modernity was the assertion of specific characteristics for each one of the arts. Each discipline sought to define the singularity of its medium. In this context, photography—in its struggle to define itself as an established art form, like painting—was split between two tendencies, one towards abstraction and the other towards so-called Straight Photography. Paul Strand was a pioneer of the latter. His work from the 1920s and on embodies the central problematic of photography in his time.

Paul Strand incorporated some of the solutions adopted by the fine arts in his opening-up to new aesthetic paths, creating images that exhibit an enchanted vision of New York with urban atmospheres that are occasionally reminiscent of the works of De Chirico and compositions approaching Constructivism, as in the case of The Court.


© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022

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