1940's Photogravure Plate from "The Mexican Portofolio" Paul Strand

1940's Photogravure Plate from "The Mexican Portofolio" Paul Strand

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Paul Strand, c.1960's, Photogravure on Matte Paper, Untitled, 6 1/4" x 5", Framed with mat 

Vintage photogravure, done on matte paper. Unsigned by Paul Strand (1890-1976), this photo depicts a traditional Mexican house in the 1940's. Image measures 6 1/4" x 5", overall measurement is 14" x 18". Entitled, "Plaza, State of Puebla"

Strand personally supervised the 1940 production of these photogravures which make up The Mexican Portfolio. Published in a limited edition of 1000 copies in 1967 by Da Capo Press. This piece has been professionally matted. Excellent condition. Each sheet unframed measures 12 1/4" x 15 3/4"

Excellent Condition

Paul Strand (1890 – 1976) was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. His diverse body of work, spanning six decades, covers numerous genres and subjects throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Born in New York City to Bohemian parents, in his late teens Strand was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. It was while on a fieldtrip in this class that Strand first visited the 291 art gallery – operated by Stieglitz and Edward Steichen – where exhibitions of work by forward-thinking modernist photographers and painters would move Strand to take his photographic hobby more seriously. Stieglitz would later promote Strand’s work in the 291 gallery itself, in his photography publication Camera Work, and in his artwork in the Hieninglatzing studio. Some of this early work, like the well-known “Wall Street,” experimented with formal abstractions. Other of Strand’s works reflect his interest in using the camera as a tool for social reform. He was one of the founders of the Photo League, an association of photographers who advocated using their art to promote social and political causes.

Taken from images made in 1932-1933, Strand’s Mexican Portfolio is one of his elegant "series of studies of people and places that exemplifies his self-expressed desire "to photograph people who have strength and dignity in their faces". For Alfred Stieglitz, it was Strand, alone, who practiced "a truly photographic version of the kind of forceful representation he found in painters like Picasso and Matisse" (Roth). The 20 tonally entrancing photogravures in this signed limited edition brilliantly re-present Strand’s earlier Photographs of Mexico, published in 1940 in an edition of just 250. . Using the same steel-faced plates as the edition, this Mexican Portfolio, issued by Da Capo in 1967, was the one preferred by Strand. "He has made these plates sing," Strand said of master printer Albert DeLong’s hand-pulled gravures. Unlike the earlier edition’s application of a heavy varnish that is prone to yellowing and/or darkening, the varnish chosen for these plates has stood the test of time. 

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Vintage photogravure, done on matte paper. Unsigned by Paul Strand (1890-1976), this photo depicts a traditional Mexican house in the 1940's. Image measures 6 1/4" x 5", overall measurement is 14" x 18". Entitled, "Plaza, State of Puebla"

Strand personally supervised the 1940 production of these photogravures which make up The Mexican Portfolio. Published in a limited edition of 1000 copies in 1967 by Da Capo Press. This piece has been professionally matted. Excellent condition. Each sheet unframed measures 12 1/4" x 15 3/4"

Excellent Condition

Paul Strand (1890 – 1976) was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. His diverse body of work, spanning six decades, covers numerous genres and subjects throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Born in New York City to Bohemian parents, in his late teens Strand was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. It was while on a fieldtrip in this class that Strand first visited the 291 art gallery – operated by Stieglitz and Edward Steichen – where exhibitions of work by forward-thinking modernist photographers and painters would move Strand to take his photographic hobby more seriously. Stieglitz would later promote Strand’s work in the 291 gallery itself, in his photography publication Camera Work, and in his artwork in the Hieninglatzing studio. Some of this early work, like the well-known “Wall Street,” experimented with formal abstractions. Other of Strand’s works reflect his interest in using the camera as a tool for social reform. He was one of the founders of the Photo League, an association of photographers who advocated using their art to promote social and political causes.

Taken from images made in 1932-1933, Strand’s Mexican Portfolio is one of his elegant "series of studies of people and places that exemplifies his self-expressed desire "to photograph people who have strength and dignity in their faces". For Alfred Stieglitz, it was Strand, alone, who practiced "a truly photographic version of the kind of forceful representation he found in painters like Picasso and Matisse" (Roth). The 20 tonally entrancing photogravures in this signed limited edition brilliantly re-present Strand’s earlier Photographs of Mexico, published in 1940 in an edition of just 250. . Using the same steel-faced plates as the edition, this Mexican Portfolio, issued by Da Capo in 1967, was the one preferred by Strand. "He has made these plates sing," Strand said of master printer Albert DeLong’s hand-pulled gravures. Unlike the earlier edition’s application of a heavy varnish that is prone to yellowing and/or darkening, the varnish chosen for these plates has stood the test of time. 

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