Paul Strand - Southwest

Original cloth in dust wrapper. For Paul Strand the summers of 1926 and 1930-1932 marked a period of critical artistic growth. Absorbing the Southwest's complex cultural history, Strand made pictures that merged realism with abstraction, and formalism with an American romanticism. He began to shape his ideas of photographing a region in depth - the collective portraiture that he later expanded in Mexico, New England, Africa, and Europe. The Southwest period brought not only artistic renewal, but also personal turmoil. His political and social ideas were shifting, and his relationship with the two most important people in his life - his wife Rebecca and his mentor Alfred Stieglitz - were disintegrating. This book reconstructs, in an intimate, visual way, the emotional and creative swirl around Paul Strand. Each summer the Strands stayed with Mabel Dodge Luhan at her fabled Taos ranch, where many illustrious guests drifted through, from D. H. Lawrence to Ansel Adams. The linking of Strand's photographs to the New Mexico paintings of his friends Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe (enriched by many personal letters, snapshots, and artifacts) reveals the flavor of an extraordinary environment and the cross-pollination of ideas. While a handful of Strand's Southwest photographs have been previously published, Ranchos de Taos Church and City Hall among them, this period of his outstanding career remains largely unexplored. Paul Strand Southwest presents many images for the first time, including dramatic landscapes, decayed ghost towns, the noble architecture of adobe churches, and his final, austere portraits of Rebecca.

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