Essays on His Life and Work-Paul Strand
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“Paul Strand is universally acclaimed as a master. His pictures rank highly among the most often reproduced masterworks of photography and have an honored place within the canon of modern art as such. People viewing his work for the first or the hundredth time find themselves captivated within a visual domain of extraordinary immediacy and freshness, not just in textures, shapes, and forms but in subtleties which make for resonating coherences within and among images.”—Alan Trachtenberg, author of Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans, excerpted from the Introduction “In Strand’s pictures, we find the work of a quiet but intense man who transmuted the real into the ideal, “the ordinary in man and the transitory in nature converted into eternal symbols.”“—Estelle Jussim, author of Slave to Beauty: The Eccentric Life and Controversial Career of F. Holland Day, Photographer, Publisher, Aesthete, from her essay A visionary artist of the twentieth century, Paul Strand was much more than a gifted imagemaker. Throughout his long and productive life which ended in 1976, Strand was a leading advocate of photography as a fine art and a political activist deeply committed to social issues. He was an innovative filmmaker and a pioneer in developing photography books that combined images with words. To celebrate the centenary of Paul Strand’s birth, an international team of scholars and writers, many of whom knew or worked with Strand, has produced a volume of essays and meditations on his life and work. Alan Trachtenberg, professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, provides the insightful introduction. Gloria Naylor, Russell Banks, Jim Harrison, Carolyn Forché, Jerome Liebling, Charles Simic, and Reynolds Price respond, each uniquely, to individual photographs. Naomi Rosenblum, Jan-Christopher Horak, Robert Adams, Milton Brown, Richard Benson, Estelle Jussim, and Anne Tucker, among others, offer lively scholarship and comment. Jussim discusses Strand’s aesthetic ideals; Horak contributes an evaluation of the motion picture Manhatta, produced in 1921 by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler; Benson writes from personal experience about Strand’s darkroom practices; and internationally-regarded photographic-historian Naomi Rosenblum offers a fresh account of Strand’s early development. Drawing on letters, journals, interviews, and previously unpublished writings, these thoughtful essays span Strands lifetime, from his remarkable debut in Alfred Stieglitz’s periodical, Camera Work, to his travels in the American Southwest and in Mexico, and his final years in Europe and Africa. These essays are an unsurpassed chronicle of artistic genius and a vital addition to the library of every serious photographer, Strand aficionado, cultural historian, and print collector. Published in the 100th anniversary of Paul Strand’s birth. Robert Adams, William Alexander, Russell Banks, Richard Benson, Milton W. Brown, Basil Davidson, Edmundo Desnoes, Catherine Duncan, Carolyn Forché, Brewster Ghiselin, Jim Harrison, Jan-Christopher Horak, Estelle Jussim, Jerome Liebling, Gloria Naylor, Reynolds Price, Belinda Rathbone, John Rohrbach, Naomi Rosenblum, Walter Rosenblum, Charles Simic, Alan Trachtenberg, Anne Tucker, Katherine C. Ware, Mike Weaver, Steve Yates