Abstraction, Twin Lakes, Connecticut

Artist: Paul Strand (American, New York 1890–1976 Orgeval, France)

Date: 1916

Medium: Silver-platinum print

Dimensions: 32.8 x 24.4 cm (12 15/16 x 9 5/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.1100.10

Rights and Reproduction: ©1997, Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive.


This picture is among the first photographic abstractions to be made intentionally. When Alfred Stieglitz published a variant of it in "Camera Work," he praised Strand's results as "the direct expression of today." Porch shadows and tipped-over tables are not intrinsically modern, but Strand's picture of them is, for it does not depend upon recognizable imagery for its effect, but rather on the precise relations of forms within the frame. This print, the only one Strand seems to have made from the negative, is on Satista paper, a wartime replacement for platinum papers.