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


Fungus, The Garden, Orgeval, France
Paul Strand
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Printed area size: 25,1 × 20,1 cm
Titled and dated by Hazel Strand on the back
Born: Nueva York, 1890
Died: Orgeval, Francia, 1976
Orgeval (1957-1973) (Paul Strand)

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


In 1955, some time after his departure from the United States, Paul Strand relocated to Orgeval, a small town near Paris. During the following years he went on numerous trips to countries such as Egypt, Romania and Ghana in order to develop new projects. However, upon his return, his gaze was permanently focused on the familiarity and intimate strangeness of his garden in Orgeval. The Garden, his final project, was finished just a few days before his death in 1976 and includes some of the photographs he had taken in this private space through the years.

Some of the images that make up The Garden seem to reference photographs that he made during the 1920s in which he explored certain natural configurations, such as fern leaves and root networks with a clarity that was analogous to New Objectivity. However, in the photographs of Orgeval there is another understanding of the materiality of photography. At this point Strand’s research was not only formal; there was a material density that conferred a dreamy lyrical character to his images. In Fungus, light emerges from the fungi in paradoxical correspondence to the processes of material decomposition. Along with the star-like geometry of the vine leaves and the roughness of the tree’s bark it creates a dense world of chiaroscuro, textures, and forces that oppose each other in balance.


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

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