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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Photographer Profile ~ Aaron Siskind

Aaron Siskind (N.Y.C 1903-1991) was an American abstract expressionist photographer. In his biography he wrote that he began his foray into photography when he received a camera for a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon. He quickly realized the artistic potential this offered. He worked in both New York City and Chicago.

Siskind began his career in photography as an active member of the Photo League, producing several documentary series including, Harlem Document. In the early 1940's while on Martha's Vineyard, Siskind began producing photographs of pure shape and texture, aligning himself with the interests of the Abstract Expressionist painters, and for which he would devote his career. This pursuit led to more complex studies of abstract form, line, and mark making.

In 1951 Siskind was invited by Harry Callahan to join the faculty at the Chicago Institute of Design, forming a valuable teaching partnership that informed scores of talented young photographers.

I saw his striking Photographs at a recent show at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) along side his friend Franz Kline's paintings. Kline was a big influence on Siskand. Siskand photographed textures and lines such as broken walls, flaking plaster and typography to achieve similar effects on film to those Kline achieved with paint.

Franz Kline ~ His Paintings inspired photographer Aaron Siskind:

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