I purchased a copy of Aaron Siskind 100 this weekend after discovering it on the shelf of the Palm Beach Photographic Center’s Pro Shop. I spent many hours pouring over his abstract photographs in a similar collection while in school. Flipping through this book brought back many great memories and I couldn’t resist. Turns out today is his birthday!
Here is the book description:
One of the most important and influential artists working with photography during the twentieth century, Aaron Siskind is being celebrated on the occasion of his 100th birthday with the publication of this elegant and comprehensive monograph, bringing together both well-known and never-before-published images. Siskind’s prolific career spanned six decades and left its mark on both photography and painting.
In 1932, at age twenty-nine, Siskind began his career as a photographer and spent the next nine years under the auspices of the New York Photo League working on social documentary photography. Around 1940, Siskind made a shift toward abstraction and entered an art world populated by painters and sculptors. During the course of the decade, Siskind began to explore a vision that depended on the shallow plane, and utilized delicate, minimal designs. “For the first time in my life subject matter, as such, had ceased to be of primary importance,” Siskind explained. “Instead I found myself involved in the relationships of these objects, so much so that the pictures turned out to be deeply moving and personal experiences.” The photograph had become the object.
- Aaron Siskind (1903–1991), Untitled, 1949. Gelatin silver print, Sheet and Image: 13 3/8 × 10 3/8in. (34 × 26.4cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Alice and Leo Yamin 92.50. Photograph by Robert Gerhardt
- Aaron Siskind (1903–1991), New York 7, 1950. Gelatin silver print, 10 7/8 × 13 7/8in. (27.6 × 35.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee 96.63. Photograph by Robert Gerhardt
- Aaron Siskind (1903–1991), New York 2, 1951. Gelatin silver print, 19 7/8 × 16in. (50.5 × 40.6cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Ronay and Richard L. Menschel in honor of Leonard A. Lauder 99.66.1. Photograph by Robert Gerhardt
- Aaron Siskind (1903–1991), Martha’s Vineyard 5, 1949, (printed later). Gelatin silver print, 13 7/8 × 11in. (35.2 × 27.9cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Manny and Skippy Gerard 2003.401. Photograph by Robert Gerhardt
The Whitney Museum has this audio guide and photographs by Aaron Siskind on their website. You can look/listen here if you prefer.