About this artwork
Paul Strand spent the summer of 1916 at his family’s cottage in Twin Lakes, Connecticut, attempting to give his understanding of Cubist art—abstraction through fragmentation, multiple points of view, and a reduction of people and objects to basic geometry—a photographic form. Strand made several radical choices in this work: he abandoned the traditional, upright perspective of the photograph; caused the table to appear tipped, as if to suspend its utilitarian function; deployed shadows to create powerful compositional diagonals; and suggested objectivity in the crispness of his negative and print. When Porch Shadows appeared in the final issue of Camera Work, it was a clear signal of a new aesthetic. As Strand wrote, true modernists should avoid all “tricks of process or manipulation” to celebrate photography’s inherent qualities as art.For more on the Alfred Stieglitz collection at the Art Institute, along with in-depth object information, please visit the website: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection.
- On View, Gallery 1
- Photography and Media
- Paul Strand
- Porch Shadows
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Made 1916
- Silver-platinum print
- Signed and inscribed recto, on hinged paper, lower left, below image, in graphite: "Paul Strand 1916"; inscribed verso of print, lower left, in graphite: "7-1944-369"; signed and inscribed verso of print, lower right, in graphite: -"Paul Strand- / -1916-"; inscribed verso, on hinged paper, lower center, in graohite: "Shadows"; verso, on hinged paper, lower right, in graphite: "7-1944-369"
- Image: 33.1 × 22.9 cm (13 1/16 × 9 1/16 in.); Paper: 33.7 × 23.4 cm (13 5/16 × 9 1/4 in.); Hinged paper: 43.7 × 32.2 cm (17 1/4 × 12 11/16 in.)
- Alfred Stieglitz Collection
- © Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation