New Vision


"We must revolutionize our optical perception. We must remove the veil from our eyes." - Aleksander Rodchenko

Scalar Post 2 due on Monday!
Paul Strand, Rebecca, New York, 1921.












Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, 1907.











Edward Steichen, Moonlight: The Pond, 1906.  16" X 19".
In 2006, one of three known copies of Steichen's Moonlight: The Pond sold at auction for $2,928,000 setting a record for the highest price paid for a photograph.










1904 Lumiere brothers patented the first viable color photo process, the Autochrome
  • After the kinks in the process were resolved, the process was made available to the public in 1906
  • Transparent image on glass - similar to a modern slide
  • Filter composed of colored potato starch grains
    fixed to the top of the glass plate before exposure
  • During exposure, light traveled through the color screens before hitting the light sensitive emulsion that coated the bottom of the glass allowing selective exposure of the emulsion to color
Heinrich Kuhn, Miss Mary and Edeltrude
at the Hill Crest
, c. 1910.










autochrome close up


More on the autochrome











Type of Women
Les Demoiselles D'Avignon
Edmond Fortier, Types of Women, West Africa, 1906.
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.











"I saw shapes related to one another - a picture of shapes, and underlying it,
a new vision that held me." - Alfred Stieglitz

"This photographer is working in the same spirit as I am." - Pablo Picasso upon seeing The Steerage


Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage, 1907.











Straight Photography = approach that attempts to depict a scene as realistically and objectively as permitted by the medium. Condemned the use of both pre-exposure (e.g., filters, lens coatings, soft focus) and post-exposure (e.g., unusual developing and printing methods) manipulation
Winter on Fifth Avenue
The Steerage
Alfred Stieglitz, Winter on Fifth Avenue, 1892.
Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage, 1907.


Straight Photography
Main subject in focus, everything else fuzzy
Entire photo in sharp focus
Encouraged hand altering of image
No manipulation
Almost monochromatic gray
Deep contrast and full range of tones
Sentimental, nostalgic and fantastic
Composition and form
Printed on art papers
Printed on glossy, waxed paper
Overall goal
To make photos look like paintings
To make photos look like photos











The 291
(a.k.a. The Little Galleries of the Photo Seccesion)
1905 - 1917
1910 Stieglitz organized the last show of Pictorialist work for the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York
Clarence H. White, Ring Toss, 1903.











Paul Strand, Abstraction, Twin Lakes, Connecticut, 1916.











Abstraciton with oranges

Paul Strand, Bowls, Twin Lakes, Connecticut, 1916.









"The work was brutally direct, pure and devoid of trickery."
- Stieglitz on Strand's straight approach

Paul Strand, New York (from Camera Work, June 1917), Platinum print.












Bird in Space

Avant-garde = artists or works that are novel or experimental
  • relates to military term for soldiers who explore the battlefield ahead of advancing army
  • suggests small group of intellectuals who push the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm
Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1928?











Armory Show Main Hall, New York, NY, 1913










The Armory Show 1913
First large-scale exhibition of radical modern European art

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2

Responses to the Armory Show and Duchamp's Nude:

  • President Theodore Roosevelt exclaimed, "That's not art!"
  • New York Times critic said Duchamp's painting resembled
    "an explosion in a shingle factory."
  • American Art News offered a prize to anyone
    who could find the nude

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2. 1912.










Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2
Chronophotography demonstration
Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending A Staircase, No. 2. 1912.
Etienne-Jules Marey, Man in Black Suit with White Stripes Down Arms and Legs, Walking in Front of a Black Wall, c. 1884.












Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917.











Alfred Stieglitz, Duchamp's Fountain photographed in front of of a Marsden Hartley painting in the 291 Gallery