Aaron Siskind

James Barron Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Aaron Siskind in relation to abstract art. Siskind, the photographer most closely associated with Abstract Expressionism, had an enormous impact on the artists of his day. Our exhibition contains direct artistic correspondences with his artist friends, including Willem de Kooning, Jack Tworkov, Hans Hofmann and Milton Resnick. Siskind’s indirect affect on artists continues to this day, and we are exploring his aesthetic affinity with a diverse range of artists, including Anthony Caro, Suzan Frecon, Ray Johnson and Brice Marden. Siskind began his artistic career as a documentary photographer, but around 1944, he focused on the “practice of photography as art, away from illustration and representation,” as he wrote in an application for a Guggenheim grant in 1956. His photographs became flattened and abstract. In the same application essay, Siskind said, “For my material I have gone to the ‘commonplace,’ the ‘neglected,’ the ‘insignificant’ — the walls, the pavement, the iron work of New York City, the endless items once used and now discarded by people, the concrete walls of Chicago and deep subways of New York on which water and weather have left their mark — the detritus of our world which I am combing for meaning.” Siskind’s continued influence on abstraction is still felt today, whether directly or obliquely. We are presenting aesthetic parallels including the sweeping curve of Siskind’s majestic Chicago 1949 and Anthony Caro’s Table Piece from the 1970s, and our pairing of Jalapa 10 (Homage to Franz Kline) with a calligraphic Brice Marden ink on paper. These twenty-two Siskind photographs are from the Estate of Lynn and Steven Barron, acquired in 1979 and never before exhibited in public.

Aaron Siskind, Arizpe 21, gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Aaron Siskind, Louise 36, 1974, gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Aaron Siskind, Old Horse, 1974, gelatin silver print, 16 x 16 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Aaron Siskind, Gloucester 15, 1944, printed 1972, gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Suzan Frecon, Indigo Drawing, 2006, watercolor on agate-burnished old Indian paper, 6 1⁄2 x 12 3/8 inches © Suzan Frecon

Aaron Siskind, Los Angeles 4, 1949, printed 1964, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Hans Hofmann, Untitled, 1945, ink and gouache on paper, 18 x 24 inches © Estate of Hans Hofmann

Aaron Siskind, Chicago 1949, gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Anthony Caro, Table Piece CCCCXXV, 1977-79, rusted and varnished steel, 36 1⁄2 x 52 x 24 inches © Estate of Anthony Caro

Jack Tworkov, Untitled (Barrier Series), 1961, graphite on paper, 13 1⁄2 x 10 7/8 inches © Estate of Jack Tworkov

Aaron Siskind, Chicago 4, 1961, vintage silver gelatin print, 15 x 13 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation

Willem de Kooning, Untitled (Two Women), c. 1965, pencil on paper, 10 x 8 inches © The Willem de Kooning Foundation

Aaron Siskind, New York 1950, gelatin silver print, 18 1⁄4 x 14 1⁄4 inches © Aaron Siskind Foundation