Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Untitled

Artist:
Franz Roh (German, 1890–1965)
Date:
1922–28
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 16 x 22.4 cm (6 5/16 x 8 13/16 in.) Sheet: 16.4 x 22.4 cm (6 7/16 x 8 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Cynthia Hazen Polsky Gift, 2004
Accession Number:
2004.245
Not on view
One of the chief theoreticians of the New Vision, Franz Roh advocated photography's abstraction of the real world into flat black-and-white forms as a way to revolutionize one's perspective on the world. In his own work, he advanced this agenda by making "negative prints," a technique he learned from Moholy-Nagy. This photograph is an especially adept example of the idea and one of the earliest and most articulate expressions in photography of the modernist notion of the medium itself being a primary subject of art. Roh makes witty use of the roll film's sprocket holes as a design element that plays off the image's panoply of stripes-awning, umbrella, mullion-and-pane construction of the cabana. This visual lightheartedness is punctuated by the psychological tension between the woman in the foreground and the man emerging from the doorway, resulting in a virtuoso display of photographic modernism.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso, BC edge: "1505"
Estate of the artist; [Galerie Berinson, Berlin (2002)]; [Gitterman Gallery, New York (2004)]

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