Transmission Ischiatique

Christian Schad German

Not on view

In 1919 Schad, a German painter and printmaker who had recently moved to Switzerland, began to prepare small compositions of torn paper, newsprint, and fabric on sheets of photographic paper. He then pressed the arrangements flat under glass and exposed them to light on his balcony window. This particular cameraless photogram presents both abstract patterns of light and dark and a skeletal form. Early in the next decade, Schad learned that Tristan Tzara (1896–1963), the iconoclastic Dada movement’s Zurich ringleader, had dubbed his creations "Schadographs." Schad embraced the term, writing, "The process of making a Schadograph is very complex, and has much more in common with creating a print—an aquatint etching, for instance—than with photography."

Transmission Ischiatique, Christian Schad (German, 1894–1982), Gelatin silver print

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