Strand's 'Three Roads Taken' travels to Giverny

4th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 3, 2006 (AFP) - Some 75 black-and-white images from one of the major US photographers of the 20th century, Paul Strand, have gone on show in France testifying to his work both as an artist and a witness to modern life.

PARIS, April 3, 2006 (AFP) - Some 75 black-and-white images from one of the major US photographers of the 20th century, Paul Strand, have gone on show in France testifying to his work both as an artist and a witness to modern life.

*sidebar1*'Three Roads Taken' opened on Saturday at the Museum of American Art in Giverny, west of Paris, organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Portraits of French and Italian farmers, images of a dynamic and modern New York, juxtapositions of light and shadow illustrate the range of a photographer who was continually searching for a new voice and inspirations.

The exhibitions traces his footsteps from his cubist-inspired still lifes from around 1916, to his experimental landscapes taken in the 1930s and the 40s from New Mexico and Maine, and finally his series of portraits made in France, Italy, and Scotland from the 1950s.

Strand was "at first a pictorialist," said curator Anne Lyden, referring to the movement in photography where the picture came first and the subject second, in a bid to render a photo like a painting.

But he was quickly drawn to modern art after attending the 1913 Armory Show where he saw the paintings of artists such as Pabolo Picasso. And he began to compose still lifes.

His first solo show was in 1916 in the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz who hailed his talent and published his works in the magazine Camera Work.

But Strand also wanted to "give the anonymous an identity," said Lyden, and he developed camera equipment enabling him to take pictures without his subjects realising.

Beggars and New York street life became his subject matter as he captured the social realities of his country, becoming increasingly socialist in his outlook.

In 1950, Strand fled McCarthyism and moved to France, where he died in 1954.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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