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Aaron Siskind, b.1903

Veracruz, 2151973

Veracruz, 215 is a 1973 work by Aaron Siskind. It is part of the IMMA Permanent Collection.

MediumGelatin silver print
Dimensions22.8 x 22.8 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, David Kronn Collection, 2015
Item NumberIMMA.3982
Copyright © Aaron Siskind Foundation.
For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Aaron Siskind, Veracruz, 215, 1973, Gelatin silver print, 22.8 x 22.8 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, David Kronn Collection, 2015

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Aaron Siskind 1903–1991

Aaron Siskind brought an abstract, formal approach to photography, inviting comparison with the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1950s and 60s. Born in New York and trained as a writer, Siskind dedicated himself to photography in the 1930s, working in the socially conscious documentary mode. The “Harlem Document” explored the social, political and economic conditions of this Manhattan neighbourhood through images of the mostly African-American residents. In the 1940s, Siskind’s interests shifted to more formal, poetic imagery laden with human emotion; black and white photographs captured weathered fragments and textured surfaces animated with graffiti, paint splashes and patterns of decay. Siskind not only cultivated friendships with Abstract Expressionists Franz Kline, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, he also exhibited at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York, which specialized in this synthetic modernist style. Siskind and painter Franz Kline were close friends and artistic colleagues. In 1961, while driving in Mexico, Siskind chanced upon a wall with bold black brush strokes reminiscent of Kline’s signature style. Siskind eventually created an homage to his friend, who died in 1962, through a series of photographs focused on rough wall markings shot on another Mexican road trip in 1972. Siskind was influential as a photographer and a teacher; he joined the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1951 at the invitation of photographer Harry Callahan, and then also taught at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1971 – 1976. One of the founders of the Society for Photographic Education, he received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1966) which supported an extended stay in Rome.
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