“SISKIND COULD BE SAID TO REPRESENT THE ABSTRACT STRAIN OF 1950S ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY” (PARR & BADGER): SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 40 PORTFOLIOS ISSUED, WITH SIX VERY LARGE PHOTOGRAVURE PLATES EACH SIGNED BY AARON SISKIND
SISKIND, Aaron. Homage to Franz Kline. Six Photogravures. Pepperell, Massachusetts: Palm Press, 1989. Large Folio (23 by 28 inches), original gray cloth portfolio box, original printed paper label tipped to front board, eight leaves loose as issued (six photogravure leaves). $6000.
Signed limited first edition, number five of only 40 portfolios issued (total of 54 copies including four artist’s proofs), with six striking exhibition-size photogravures printed from the original negatives in tribute to Siskind’s close friend Franz Kline, each plate loose as issued and signed below the image by Siskind, who “could be said to have influenced Kline as much as Kline influenced him” (New York Times), in original portfolio.
When pre-eminent photographer Aaron Siskind “discovered the power of abstraction in the early ’40s… he was doing what photography does: pushing the medium forward” (Roth, 152). “His allegiance to the flat plane of the picture surface was shared by the Abstract Expressionist painters of the time, many of whom were his friends. As a result, his work is often compared to Abstract Expressionism, and especially to the paintings of Franz Kline. But Siskind was not an imitator of the New York School of painting; he could be said to have influenced Kline as much as Kline influenced him. In addition, his pictures have both the traditional descriptiveness of conventional photographs and a graphic, metaphoric emotional power” (New York Times). Siskind first considered an homage to Kline while traveling across Mexico in the early 60s and began work on the Homage after Kline’s death. Here Siskind’s bold images, each titled with the place and time in which they were shot, seem as if in a dialogue with Kline’s work. “In a nutshell, Siskind could be said to represent the abstract strain of 1950s American art and photography” (Parr & Badger I:250). The six tissue-guarded photogravures (images measuring 14-3/4 by 14-3/4 inches) were printed under the supervision of Siskind, with each plate titled and numbered, signed by him in pencil below the image. The plates were printed from the original negatives by Paul Taylor on Rives BFK: containing “Jalapa 23, 1974,” “Rome 67, 1973,” “Rome 69, 1973,” “Lima 55, 1975,” Lima 89, 1875” and “Lima 101, 1975.”
Plates fresh and clean; only lightest rubbing to portfolio. A fine copy. Scarce.