These photographs of divers against the sky above Lake Michigan belongs to the series Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation, a project Siskind began in 1953 and worked on until 1961. Like the close-up photographs of peeling paint, fragments of signs, and graffiti, to which he directed much of his attention in the 1950s, these pictures of silhouetted human figures tumbling through space also reveal the artist's interest in abstract form. The cool elegance of the apparent levitation and the reckless abandon of the actual fall form an imperfect counterpoise, allowing us to imagine the elation of being airborne and the terror of an elevated plunge.
Inscription: Signed and dated in ink on mount, verso, TC: "1954//Aaron Siskind"
B.C. Holland Gallery, Chicago; Private collector, Chicago; Ehlers Caudill Gallery, Chicago
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 12," March 11, 1996–June 3, 1996.
Lyons, Nathan, ed. Aaron Siskind: Photographer. Rochester: George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, 1965. p. 40.