March 07, 2019 to April 27, 2019
525 West 26th Street, Floor 2
New York - 10001 NY
Robert Mann Gallery presents a selection of photogravures by Alfred Stieglitz from Camera Work. Stieglitz, regarded as the father of modern photography, a proponent for promoting the avant-garde movement in art and an influential gallerist, was also the editor and publisher of Camera Work, one of the most important photographic publications of the 20th century. Spanning over 15 years, Stieglitz published exquisite photogravures of his seminal images alongside images by fellow photographers including Edward Steichen and Paul Strand, all of whom were embracing the modern photographic movement.
One of the earliest methods of reproducing photographic images in ink, the photogravure process was perfected and championed by Stieglitz. Images pulled off of etched copper plates that were made directly from the original negatives possessed rich mid tones and soft blacks, rendering velvety prints with a tonal range Stieglitz often preferred to the more typical darkroom processes. The photogravures for Camera Work were hand-pulled by Stieglitz himself, many were printed on delicate Japanese tissue and carefully tipped into the pages of the quarterly journal. This exhibition will include a selection of Stieglitz's many iconic images in the photogravure medium that originally hale from the pages of Camera Work. Quintessential masterpieces such as The Steerage and Spring Showers will be on view.
Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, notes that "when Stieglitz's photographs are considered it is usually for their innovations in style, subject matter, and technique. But these are the manifestations, the visible results, of something larger and more profound, something that permeated and propelled Stieglitz's entire undertaking as a photographer: a search for what he termed 'the meaning of the idea photography.'"