Aaron Siskind

American , 1903 - 1991

While creating the images for Tar Abstracts portfolio, Aaron drove around with his companion at the time and look for "poetic" tar. He would proceed to stop the car, halt traffic, set up his camera (a Hasselblad) and shoot the image. When a proof for the portfolio was printed, Aaron was very pleased with the intense, rich and painterly quality of the photogravure technique, a process that is related to an aquatint etching. This portfolio was favorably reviewed by The Print Collector’s Newsletter (now Art on Paper) in the January 16, 1990 issue. The Tar Abstracts portfolio was considered a unique blend of photography and photogravure etching print.

From the Aaron Siskind Foundation: Photographer and educator Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) holds a preeminent place in the history of American photography. Beginning his photographic career in the 1930s as a social documentarian with the New York Photo League, he ultimately radicalized the medium by emphasizing the photograph as an abstract form of expression and an aesthetic end in itself. Siskind taught in New York City's public schools for 25 years before becoming recognized as a photographer and then a gifted pioneer of photographic education. His vision and methods have and will continue to inspire and instruct future generations of artists and teachers.
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