In Association with Amazon.com

Masters of Photography
CDROM VERSION
POSTER STORE
ABBOTT
ANSEL ADAMS
ROBERT ADAMS
ALVAREZ BRAVO
ATGET
BELLOCQ
BLOSSFELDT
BOURKE-WHITE
BRANDT
BRASSAÏ
CALLAHAN
CAMERON
COBURN
CUNNINGHAM
DeCARAVA
DOISNEAU
EGGLESTON
EVANS
FENTON
FRIEDLANDER
GOWIN
GUTMANN
HILL&ADAMSON
HINE
KARSH
KERTÉSZ
KLEIN
KOUDELKA
LANGE
LARTIGUE
LAUGHLIN
LEVITT
MAPPLETHORPE
MEATYARD
MEYEROWITZ
MODEL
MODOTTI
MUYBRIDGE
NADAR
NEWMAN
O'SULLIVAN
OUTERBRIDGE
PARKS
PENN
RIIS
RODCHENKO
SALGADO
SHERMAN
SHORE
SMITH
SOMMER
STEICHEN
STIEGLITZ
STRAND
TALBOT
UELSMANN
WALDMAN
WATKINS
WESTON
WHITE
WINOGRAND
WOLLEH
Paul Outerbridge

Text from John Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art

During the thirties and forties Paid Outerbridge was a famous and successful commercial photographer, noted especially for the high quality of his color illustrations, which were done in those years by means of an extremely complex and recalcitrant process called the carbro print. In all the arts, work that is praised when new because of its difficulty is often forgotten once the technical problem has been simplified. Such is the case with most color photography of a quarter century ago, including that of Outerbridge.

He was, nevertheless, a photographer of exceptional talent, and it is perhaps a comment on the profession rather than on Outerbridge to say that his best work was done when he was a youthful student in the Clarence White School of Photography. These pictures exhibit an original sense of abstract photographic form, which remains impressive even in the work of the twenties - a decade in which pure graphics was a central preoccupation of adventurous photography.

The photograph reproduced here is a puzzle - literally and surely intentionally. A three-dimensional form (apparently but not assuredly a bricklike form, with parallel edges) rests on or floats in a plane or space that cannot be rationalized. The puzzle is made more challenging by virtue of the very real and specific quality of light that falls on the subject. In sum the picture is a challenge to our naive trust in the evidence of our senses.


 


Buying posters through this link
supports Masters of Photography

articles photographs resources Home FAQ Contact