Art/ Collection/ Art Object

First Reflection, New York

Artist:
Lisette Model (American, born Austria, 1901–1983)
Date:
1939–40, printed 1940s
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 34.2 x 27.3 cm (13 7/16 x 10 3/4 in.) Sheet: 34.2 x 27.3 cm (13 7/16 x 10 3/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.141
Rights and Reproduction:
© The Lisette Model Foundation, Inc.
Not on view
Shortly after moving to New York City in 1939, Model made a series of photographs of plate-glass windows that she called “Reflections.” These seminal works show Model not only importing and synthesizing old and new trends from Europe—Atget crossed with New Vision photography—but also anticipating the brooding, shadow-filled aesthetic of film noir, which began to emerge in America at about the same time. The underlying philosophical premise of film noir—that man is unknowable to himself and contains unfathomable, irrational depths—had its origins in psychoanalysis. It cannot be accidental that Model, a native of Vienna, could so perfectly capture that sense of a mysterious figure whose reflected interior is revealed to be a labyrinth of flickering bulbs and indecipherable signs.
Inscription: Estate stamp in ink on print, verso C: "© ESTATE OF LISETTE MODEL // 1983 ARCHIVE NUMBER- D 2/2 [number in pencil]; additional pencil notations on print verso overall, see scan for details.
Lisette Model; [...]; Private Collection, New York; [Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York]

Bruce Silverstein Gallery. "Self Reflections: The Expressionist Origins of Lisette Model," September 22, 2011–November 12, 2011.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 60," September 11, 2012–January 13, 2013.

Thomas, Ann. Lisette Model. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1990. no. 59, p. 205.

Livingston, Jane. The New York School: Photographs, 1936–1963. New York, 1992. p. 57.

Self Reflections: The Expressionist Origins of Lisette Model. New York: Bruce Silverstein Gallery, 2011. cover.



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