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"Paul Strand: Works 1915-1954"
2002-08-29 until 2002-10-12
Griffin Contemporary
Venice, CA, USA United States of America

In 1921, a seven-minute portrait of New York called "Manhatta," alternately titled "New York the Magnificent", was released. Hailed as the first avant-garde film produced in the United States, this film by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler will be screened at Griffin Contemporary along with Strand's vintage photography in the exhibition "Paul Strand: Works 1915-1954."

"Manhatta" was shot in New York within a five-block radius that encompassed Battery Park, the Staten Island Ferry docks, Wall Street, and Trinity Place -a location of significance for Americans today. The film is a non-narrative sequence of formally abstract images that, together, are an expression of the city as it reveals itself through lines, volume, movement and rhythm. At the same time, the film conveys Strand's romantic longing for a universe in which man and nature coexist in harmony.

The exhibition will also feature over twenty works taken between 1915 and 1954. The works range from early pictorial images, to his gritty New York period, to later works taken on Strand's travels to New Mexico, New England, and Nova Scotia. Paul Strand's muscular, stolid approach to his subject matter yielded images of astounding beauty and elegance. He demanded perfection in the darkroom, achieving more clarity, subtlety, and gradations of gray from a print than any photographer since. Strand was a leading advocate of photography as a fine art and his beautifully composed and masterfully executed prints successfully elevated the stature of the medium.

Griffin's exhibition of Strand's work offers a rare opportunity to view early prints by this master photographer. Many of the photographs are unique, vintage prints, seldom seen outside of museums. The last major exhibition of Strand's work, "Paul Strand circa 1916," was organized in 1998 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and later traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art (New York) presented the first retrospective of Strand's work in 1945 and in 1971 the Philadelphia Museum of Art traveled a second retrospective to five significant museums across the United States.

IMAGE:
Paul Strand
Man in a Derby, 1916
ŠAperture Foundation Inc.,
Paul Strand Archive


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