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


Young Boy, Gondeville, Charente, France
Paul Strand
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Printed area size: 28,9 × 22,9 cm
Paper size: 29,9 × 23,6 cm
Signed by Hazel Strand on the back
Born: Nueva York, 1890
Died: Orgeval, Francia, 1976
France (1950-1951) (Paul Strand)

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


In 1952 Paul Strand published La France de profil [France in Profile] which included the photographs he took during his trip throughout the country. With texts by Claude Roy, the book was published by Swiss publisher Guilde du Livre, which had been producing a collection of travel books since the 1940s containing texts by well known writers such as Paul Éluard and Jacques Prévert, and photographs by artists such as Robert Doisneau and Michel Huet.

In a similar fashion to how he had articulated a unique perspective far from the hegemonic exoticizing of Mexico during the 1930s, Strand portrayed France in a way that did not settle on its most picturesque features. As inferred by the title, the series is an oblique perspective on the territory materialized through an assortment of images that are arranged in a singular style. Towns, landscapes, examples of vernacular architecture, and faces of elderly people and fishermen appear next to photographs detailing small objects that—beyond their documentary value—join the artistic language of images while simultaneously evoking the time that is inscribed within them.

Young Boy captures the characteristic intensity of the gamut of black and white hues in Strand’s work. The beauty hidden within the heroic ruggedness of the boy’s face, emphasized by the artist’s treatment of light, exemplifies the way in which Strand’s attention to the artistic values he upholds effectuates his political commitment.


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

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