Blesok no. 69, November-December, 2009
Loneliness of the shape
– Alfred Stieglitz’s photography: from the realistic New York cityscape to an abstract impressionism –
Alfred Stieglitz (1864 -1946) was raised in a brownstone on Manhattan's Upper East Side of New York City; even as an American photograph with German origins, he lived fully the inter-cultural imprinting of his European artistic background and of his artistic evolution in New York. His family moved in to Berlin where Stieglitz studied mechanical engineering but soon, impressed by the landscapes of the Dutch seacoast and Germans forest he started shooting photographs. That is how his return to New York was truly fertile: he became publisher and editor of some important revues such as American Amateur Photographer and the Camera Club of New York, known as an art periodical called simply Camera Work (1903), which will incorporate various art articles, photographs, reproductions of American and European photographers and essays. “Camera Work was the most luxurious and expensive photographic journal of its days (…) it was the most advanced American periodical devoted to the arts”. Homer says as well that thanks to the Camera Work review the mysteries of modern art for the American elite audience were unraveled. In fact, we will see later on, Stieglitz is important in the history of photography and art history has revalued photography by giving its enormous and unlimited freedom of picturesque expansion. He had redefined the photography through the revelation of its intrinsic relationship with other visual art. Whelan in the biography of Stieglitz explains, actually why the Steiglitz photograph discourse was particular. He said that “the camera naturally surpassed even the most talented painter in the accurate depiction of form” and that it is practically pointless for painters to try to do what photography does better – and that on the other hand it was pointless that the photography tries to repeat the “(…) second-rate illustration”. Stieglitz’s scientific method consisted in confusing artistic gender in a photographical insight and in giving the idea of mix between an impressionistic overview and perhaps some sort of Japanese – occidental reproduction of the landscape.
His early photographs were an inter-text of the European picturesque style, while his late work was focalized in depth on a few subjects, including the urban sights of the New York City. His other production, such as the cloud cycle, that he called Equivalents, was an explicit challenge of the metaphysical representation of the immaculate possibilities of the light-condensation. The cycle of portrait series of his wife, the controversial painter Georgia O'Keeffe and the cycle of nude as a courageous artistic perception of the photography, opened a new chapter in the free representation of female body and sexual desire in the photographs in America. Moreover, we may say that his photographs made between 1910 and 1911 in New York “speak of transit, arrivals and departures to and from New York – and of new buildings, in short, man-made elements forming an architectural stage with backdrops of water and sky. In contrast to the cold geometry of his later photographs of New York City buildings, many of these still contain the suggestion of a human presence and a sense of developing modern city”. The serial of nudes and portraits of George O’Keeffe and Rebecca Salsbury Strand had become a clear prove that the body, according to the Modernistic standards, has to be cut and decomposed into pieces so that it could expand its multiple meanings and multiple significations. Perhaps these photographs could witness the sexual desire and an intimate representation of art, but for sure, they will remain a link between the image of naked and decomposed body of the Modernity and the simulacrum of the Otherness. In these photographs, the Victorian shyness and body inhibition remains hermetically closed in the past. Naked bodies of pin-up girls had already started invading the publicity. The cubist fragmentary composition of the body had taken its turn in the avant-garde artistic movement in Europe. Thus, the American news in the Stieglitz nude photographs had completely turned over the meaning of the body representation and the female freedom of expression. In this sense, it is important to underline some names of American female artists who worked in New York in the dawn of the 20th Century: Georgia O’Keeffe, Imogen Cunningham, Margrethe Mather, Pamela Colman Smith, Emma Goldman who, for example, transformed the Greenwich Village into authentic intellectual and feminist centre. In fact, with the rise of the American modernism and in the European avant-garde art, in the photography, or on the canvas, the body and its representation have lost the head as well as the hands and the legs. Moved into another perspective, in its asymmetrical shape, the body alludes to some other meaning diffused beyond sexuality. The abstract body is been cut and this cut is a sublimate and essential act in Modernism because it puts the touch as well as the indication of the smooth surface of the skin is in the foreground: the shadows in the water are provoking the explosion of the female body.
New York City reveals its signs of a giant cosmopolitan metropolis. The group called Photo Secession created at the beginning of the XXth Century and composed by other photographers among whom Edward Steichen, Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence White and Alvin Langdon Coburn. The modernism of this movement tended to make the artistic world to see photography as a distinctive medium of an authentic artistic expression and as a fine art which was, however, different from the first well known fine art medium – the picture, the oil on canvas. Often, the new revolutionary and dissent spirit was related to Stigelitz avant-garde company because they gave some new directions and experimental revalorisation to the whole quality of New York life in the early twentieth century and they refused each pro- or contra- European classification. The Camera work and the proto-dada review, 291, were inspired by the Paris evenings of Apollinaire and the French modernist, moreover poetic movement but also by the Dada-anarchist movement. According to the Dada theory and definition, Art does not exist, actually nothing exist and all the past has to be abolished. Stieglitz was not an anarchist in the real sense of the term, but he changed the rules of art craft in the photography creation. He might show banal or incident scenes of the turbulent New York life, but his mind-blowing photo discourse disarranged the inner geometry of the composition. In these reviews, he will expose also black art, the abstract paintings of Picabia about New York city and later on the Duchamps fontain which will scanadalize all (…)”, and other avant-garde mostly European artists such as Picasso, Braque, Brancusi, Matisse. Hoffman notes: “Camera work and all pictures, essays, exhibitions, and book works that it spawned, were predicated on the supposition that the image itself was a potent “site” for exploration – that the metaphorical meanings of the world were “immanent” within photographs of the most commonplace subjects”.
The courageous American intellectual context and the myth of the incoming new world is the basis of the challenging change from Pictorialism to Modernism. In America, the photographs were mostly concerned with the European Modernism, while in Europe the painters stimulated photographs to a larger use of the new techniques and to the openness and the expressionist possibilities imminent to the global reorganization of the world. Afterwards, artists close to the Dada movement, such us Egon Schiele, Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch made a cycle of various experiments. The cubist and the futurist movement did not have any parallel form in the modern American art, while the Dada movement, born first in Switzerland and developed in the middle European countries, in particularly in Germany, had fast echoed in the United States of America. The great artist and photographer Man Ray, who published his first Dadaphoto in the review Dada, New York (1921) has revealed some ironical aspects in the representation of the female – dolly body.
Nevertheless, we should go back to Stieglitz photographic production. If art suppose a active process of naming of the world, then Stieglitz witnessed artistically the birth of the giant city and its transformation from a sleeping urban context marked by horse-drawn trolleys, coaches and bodywork to a turbulent synonym of a modern and cruel mechanical metropolis traced by the emblems of the new age. In the context of the American redefined culture, “his images celebrate the openness and possibilities of a new age, including urban life”. Stieglitz captures the city as an emerging urban centre whose emblems such as steam, smoke, fog, shadows and drowning lights are joining the image of the city life. Thus, he will keep in his perception the memory of the time when his city was covered by trees and rocks and will cultivate the perception of the radical evolution that New York city has stand (The Flat-Iron, the City of Ambitions). In fact, the huge urban transformation will change New York from a big maritime and bank centre to a giant metropolis where not only the skyscrapers are going to be build, but as well the artistic and the intellectual bohemian life will arise in a tremendously fast way.
Alfred Stieglitz did not avoid the essential influence from the old European art rules and he did not even tried to respect them because they engulfed him. It is true that he introduced the European modern art in America, but it is true though that he liked moreover being an interpreter of the new emerging modernism in New York which, basically was his town and his cultural womb. Hoffman recognizes in his light-textures an old Europe influence or even some traces of the old gothic structure architecture in the new representation of the new urban modern emergence. She calls this light, a beginning light.
Still, Stieglitz’s efforts as a photographer, collector, curator, writer, and publisher had one goal: to secure photography's role as a legitimate medium of fine art. But his efforts extends far beyond his photographic work given that he influenced generations of photographers, painters, and sculptors both directly and indirectly. In 1905, with the young photographer immigrated from Luxembourg in the State of Michigan in 1879, Edward Steichen, he founded the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York, which later became known simply as 291. He organized various photographic exhibitions and elevated photography's status to the level of painting and sculpture.
Although it may seem historically a little bit early to say, still the collaboration with Steichen, was marked by the emergence even of some post-modern allusions: the infinite reproductions and repetitions were a serious proof. For example, the Flat-iron building was seen by both authors as a paradigm of the vertically vertiginous expansion of the urban collective culture. The mysterious building that was erected on 23rd street at the junction of the Fifth Avenue and Broadway, was named by the New Yorkers the Fuller building or the Flat-Iron building because of its modern, aggressive and mechanical shape.
Still, Stieglitz saw it differently: he once said that the Flat-iron building “appeared to be moving toward me like the bow of a monster steamer–a picture of a new America still in the making”. For example, even though his wife O’Keeffe and his father did not like this contradictory representation of New York, Stieglitz said: “It is to America shat Parthenon was to Greece”. Beyond its architectonical marks of the rise of the metropolis, in Stieglitz’s photography this building, in its cityscape, is opposed with the normal shape of a tree in its landscape. Their silhouettes are confused in the on two separate levels overlapping one on top of the other. As we will see later on, this soft flattening of the space can be recognized in the influence of Japanese wood-block prints. Also the sophisticated grow of snow between the two branches of the tree contrasted to the fragile white carpet underneath the city bench is a clear allusion to the Japanese In New York from Shelton, the ugly, weird and almost four-dimensional erection of the high buildings simulates in an explicit way the Stieglitz’s perspective where the rise of the machine building is simulating the totally cyber and modernistic expansion of the city of New York in the beginning of the 20th century. The clear shape of the sun-lighted building arises from the depth of that black shadow where perhaps there is a flux of human movements and traffic sounds but we don’t see nor here them. On the top of the roofs and of the veil of black sphere, three geometrical cubes have broke through in another more abstract sphere where there is no sign of urban life but only a virtual fluctuation of this strange window-shape form called simply skyscraper. This photography is an image of a concrete fact – the arrivals and the departures in the promised city where dreams becomes reality - that gains its abstract quality in the lighting. As Caffin notes, “if a profusion of detail is allowed, the figure will necessarily obtrude itself, without, however, necessarily gaining separate importance, for the general confusion distracts”, in this photograph the buildings have lost their quality of being buildings: they are a grey decoration of the cruel urban insight. Stieglitz is breaking through modernity because he is testing the limits and the measures of the photography possibilities: he writes light and darkness, he uses shape and form as an expressive medium and he fills them with another meaning. We may though recognize a Mondrian’s geometrical size of cube in the representation of the skyscraper. Thus, we may also compare the cycle with clouds called Equivalents to the atmospheric harmony of the buildings composition in The City of Ambition. They both contain the chaos and they claim implicitly to represent the chaos and in the same time the order of the world in its relation to the realistic and to the abstract things. How could it be possible to put on a same level the abstract movement of the air on the sky and the naturalistic air convulsion from the chimney in The City of Ambition? Actually, Stieglitz made it possible by giving them both the idea of being cut out from the real context and realized on a higher level of the modern art construction.
In this insight, the building seems unreal and virtual, almost suppressed by the silent end involving nature on the first level of the photograph. The first tree seems like a fracture in the urban sight: it splits, shakes and shivers the quite winter fantasy. Even though Stieglitz was familiar chronologically to the process of the construction of this building, this image remained anyhow unique in his art perception. Other photographs such as Edwards Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn shoot some sights of the Flat-iron building but, as Hoffman will remark, their images “tended to be more concerned with the building as a part of city life: the building dominates their photographs more fully and the viewer is more aware of traffic on the city street”. While in Stieglitz photograph of the Flat-iron building there is no trace of human presence and everything seems so virtual and filled with absence, in Edward Steichen photograph of the same building in the first plan of the image there is a shape of a man. This is a strong allusion to the character and to the time determination of the city evolution: the man with a hat is on the top of a coach driving in the rise of an early evening drifted by the shimmering lights. It is no more winter time, the feelings of ice are being melted in the mirroring street and the rainy evening. The Steichen’s Flat-iron is not what it is in the Stieglitz metaphysical representation: here it is just an insight of the urban life, and moreover a shadow, or a background. What, still remains the same, is the tiny shape of the tree branches that are witnessing metaphorically the human solitude in the metropolis.
No human presence in Stieglitz’s photographs indicates a lack of signs of identity: just a flow or flux of fog and shadows between the emerging buildings. Where there does exist, then the human presence is surrounded by fog and mist. In the huge metropolis, Steiglitz eliminates the human figure in order to leave place for the geometrical expansion of the new architecture. That is to say, this process simulates the new and various human movement and inter-migration that has occurred in New York. One of the identities of any big city is, actually the loneliness of the shape.
In New York from Shelton, the ugly, weird and almost four-dimensional erection of the high buildings simulates in an explicit way the Stieglitz’s perspective where the rise of the machine building is simulating the totally cyber and modernistic expansion of the city of New York in the beginning of the 20th century. The clear shape of the sun-lighted building arises from the depth of that black shadow where perhaps there is a flux of human movements and traffic sounds but we don’t see nor here them. On the top of the roofs and of the veil of black sphere, three geometrical cubes have broke through in another more abstract sphere where there is no sign of urban life but only a virtual fluctuation of this strange window-shape form called simply skyscraper. This photography is an image of a concrete fact – the arrivals and the departures in the promised city where dreams becomes reality - that gains its abstract quality in the lighting. As Caffin notes, “if a profusion of detail is allowed, the figure will necessarily obtrude itself, without, however, necessarily gaining separate importance, for the general confusion distracts”, in this photograph the buildings have lost their quality of being buildings: they are a grey decoration of the cruel urban insight. Stieglitz is breaking through modernity because he is testing the limits and the measures of the photography possibilities: he writes light and darkness, he uses shape and form as an expressive medium and he fills them with another meaning. We may though recognize a Mondrian’s geometrical size of cube in the representation of the skyscraper. Thus, we may also compare the cycle with clouds called Equivalents to the atmospheric harmony of the buildings composition in The City of Ambition. They both contain the chaos and they claim implicitly to represent the chaos and in the same time the order of the world in its relation to the realistic and to the abstract things. How could it be possible to put on a same level the abstract movement of the air on the sky and the naturalistic air convulsion from the chimney in The City of Ambition? Actually, Stieglitz made it possible by giving them both the idea of being cut out from the real context and realized on a higher level of the modern art construction.
The fog in the background, the shadow on the basis and the flow confusion of the sky on the top are smuggling the offensive absence of human movement. These images are “in the same time realistic because of the precision with which the clouds are described, and abstract because they are cut out from the reference to the given landscape”. As Hoffman remarked, “in The City of Ambition industrial smoke-stacks, with their billowing smoke, rise in white splendour in contrast to the dark buildings, up into the cloudy sky, joining nature and industry.” Szarkowski suggested: “it is difficult to recall a more lavishly romantic vision of a modern metropolis than the City of Ambition - New York seen beyond a ribbon of sparkling water, the back-lighting converting every puff of steam and smoke into a feather plume, and every counting house into a castle”. In this image everything seems vast; everything contains its secret dynamics and signification. It is not only a naturalistic photography: the flag on the top of the Singer building simulates the freedom and the victory of the new machine craft arrival.
Stieglitz passion for buildings may express his spasmodic character of artistic production. However, it may also signalize the eternal nostalgia of solid home-place or fixed place as well as the tormented spirit in motion in some abstract space marked by the Einstein’s theory of relativity. We have time, Einstein said, but we do not have space. Stieglitz tented to grasp at once time and space cutting the ephemeris reference of the history. Similar to the Bergson philosophy, the time and the space in Stieglitz photographs are circular: elsewhere or even anywhere but not here!
In Spring Showers, the content of image is more than ever, straight. The quality of the touch seems very important in the evolving of the big cities poetics. The Oriental illusion appears in the silky fragility of the softening and vague light. The sentimental vagueness endemic to the art photography becomes deafening symphony of the urban winter silence. Stieglitz “(…)seized parables out of the immediate day and hour (…) sometimes treating facts allegorically”. Szarkowski underlined as well – and it is important to say – that Stieglitz was “(…) an artist of massive self-absorption and his deeply ahistorical definition of the world can be chilling”. This photograph taken on Madison Avenue and 23rd street reverse into a vertical shape the traditional horizontal landscape format. Hoffman says that it could be seen as a cityscape and in the same time as a landscape: it has the background of the crowded street and the foggy building, but also the loneliness of the street cleaner and the fragile tree. From the New York cycle of photographs, this one has the intimate sense of human existence in the city: its figure though is socially marginal figure. Unlike the tree, the street cleaner curved against the cold isolation immanent to the metropolis is so small and invisible. If we give a short look to the A wet day on the Boulevard we will see that in this photography the perception has to be focused on the human presence. Still, Paris is seen differently then New York is: this wet boulevard keeps the silent dimension of the cityscape and the urban speed, but it is mostly focalised on the mysterious human existence: one man walks on the rain without an umbrella. Thus, there is a very small possibility to read this image as an abstract image while Spring Showers remains however mystic and poetic. Even though half street is empty and vague, the real wasteland remains immanent to the subliminal message of the Spring Showers photograph.
This image has a Japanese composition where nature and its representation – fog, clouds, body, tree – is indicating the loneliness of the shape. The building is surrounded by mist and flow shadows; the street cleaner is shrouded in the vagueness of the avenue; “(…) the lone tree is (…) dwarfing a street cleaner”. We may ask each other, which should be, actually the melting point or the point of the focalisation in this photograph: the street cleaner, the tree or the building in the back? Which element is lonelier than another? If there would not be the figure of the street cleaner, the tree in the foreground would lack its sharp definition. This Japanese delicate definition, basically balanced with the fluent grey colour of the buildings in the background, gives this photo its rough fragility. Stieglitz let the weather keep the photo’s background slightly out of focus, and left the street area in low contrast and evenly toned with the sky clouds and the body of the street cleaner who is not the subject but an object that provides a visual sensation of weight and heaviness. His figure, though, even if it is in the off-centre, is essential because if he would have been omitted, then the tree blew off by the wind and curb’s diagonal line on the right side of the image, would throw the photo – stamp out of its harmony. We can hardly recognize the nature of the vehicles in the second plan, but we can almost hear some of the Debussy piano sonata or even perceive some Cézanne impressionist landscape in the prolongation and in the deployment of the shadow of the human body and of the almost broken tree on the wet asphalt of the vague avenue.
Stieglitz saw the photography as a process of artistic discourse and not anymore, as it used to be considered before, as a perfect medium for documenting the reality and only the reality or everything that was photographable. Thus, his language is not the language of the reality neither a language of understanding the naturalism of the reality: even in his extreme and total realistic representation of urban sights, his discourse remains fully unrealistic and abstract. He showed that a different manner of photographing had to occur. Given that, the picture was art and the photography was used often as an scientific tool, with the Modernism in the United States a clear message was emitted: the shape could conquest the total autonomy of the image and the reality should not be identified with the eye perception. The photography is a lightreading and a light-discourse. The light changes the perspective and the naturalistic dimension of the evidence. If we take one sequence of words or images and try to show them in a way different from the conventional perception in order to express a hardly effable reality, in spite of its contradiction, we may see a surge of completely logical meaning. That’s what Stieglitz did.
The New York group called Photo-Secession opened a new interpretative field and conceived the “(…) image not as a composition that tends to obtain the internal aesthetic harmony, but as a place of confrontation, as well as of conflict, of powers and of forms that from their contrast and non-harmonious relation are suggesting new links between the form and the object (…)”. The photography will stop documenting the human figure but will cut the human body in to peaces in order to obtain an authentic form of understanding the image. It is what the European avant-garde artists, in particularly the cubist Picasso and Braque, are trying to do in Europe: inventing a new artistic pictorial language by decomposing and deconstructing the form, or more precisely the body. The perspective had to be left in order to gain the spasmodic time and space dimension of the shape. The futuristic movement has introduced as well the machine, the factory aesthetic,
the city speed and the total abolition of the grammar as a revolutionary act against the traditional conception of art as a celebration of the beauty and has published the Futurist Manifest in Paris in the Figaro in 1909. While the photography context in the United States pointed out an urgent need of self-definition. The name of Alfred Stieglitz is, actually linked to turning point from Pictorialism to Modernism mostly because of the consequences that the exhibition Armory Show in 1913 will bring to America. Until that event, the American photographic context had a parallel idea of itself regarding the European avant-garde, but after that moment, American art had to become pro- or contra- the new movement or to invent a new art inter-action.
One of the first photograph with which Stieglitz will break through the modernity, is the Steerage: although this image and its representation of an socially inferior mass of people that are crowding the bridges of a boat, has very few references to what has been defined as avant-garde, it still remains a photographic innovation.
The distinct but vague game between human figures and objects, the darkness and light are written, the superior and the inferior layer, the horizontal dimension and the triangular cut of the image composed of shy and immense but real elements from the human outwear and the confusion of the shape are giving the sense of geometrical vision. The modernity of this image consisted in the elimination of the subject and in the research of the flow distinction of the object. Stieglitz spoiled the photograph art from any categorization and gave it the brutal power of registration of the reality and in the same time of the purely metaphysical allusions.
The photography wanted to be far away from the concept of the documentation of the reality. In the modernist image, the integral figure of the body or of one structure must not to be seen, but a part of it, the fragment of its total mass (New York from Shelton, Rebecca Salsbury Strand). In the geometrical images, we should try to see the form differently and not conventionally. His photographs remained naturalistic not because they mirror the reality, but because they brought the idea of the human eye perception inside the photograph frame, where some details had escaped from the focus. The focus in Stieglitz photography is confused because of the soft-light effects that he obtained in the process composed by several printing of the negative in order to control the expansion of light in the final smooth product.
This development of the photograph expression was crucial because it gave the full recognition of the movement of the Modernism in the United States. The creative output of that time made artist a gauge of the changes that were going on. If we examine the expansion of the urbanization, the ascendance of the machine and the social mutation of the human behaviour, it would be easier to read Stieglitz admiration for the growing pressure between the giant construction, the commercial waves and the intellectual arise in New York. It was a crucial moment also because America began its independent relationship with Europe. The artistic American context was no longer perceived as an isolated product of the Western European civilizations. Thus, Stieglitz artistic mediation and personal dialogical involvement as an artist and as a person - he sponsored young progressive American painters (Walkowitz, Hartley, Strand and even his wife O’Keeffe) ignored by other art dealers - in the New York cultural events showed that one could always go beyond the established definition of representing world of experience. One could reach for an accurate approach to the photography art: that to say, his egocentric and strong self-perception and definition toward the others provoked a huge admiration between his followers. Between 1913 and 1917 Stieglitz, actually has gradually lost the interest for the European art. Thanks to him, the Photo-Secession is been fast recognized abroad as an eminent paradigm of the revaluated and enlightened pictorialism in photography. Stieglitz was an individualist. Even though, he was in touch with the Mabel Dodge circle and the bohemian intelligentsia of Greenwich Village, but he never took a direct participation to their activities. Even though he used to be often accused of looking after other ideas, he remains an affirmed prophet of Modernism in the States. He had the ability not only to support, but to learn as well from young artists. His nature as a photographer was arrhythmic: it is very difficult to define or to understand Stieglitz various and not coherent production. He did not even try to refine the cold and grey discourse of his abstract light - writing. He remains unique artist perhaps because of the contradictions of his world experience testimony. The metaphorical secret contents of the world were imminent within his photo-description. Even, in the monster-figure in the image of New York from Shelton photograph, there is still some hidden romantic version of the idea of absence and deathly silence. Those photo –actions, if we could say so, were a tireless excavation and composition of an identity: the New York identity where buildings are emerging in to the higher sky light sphere. Nevertheless, in the 1926 Stieglitz exposed in the Brooklyn Museum in the same time with artist like Mondrian, Kandinsky, Miró and Man Ray. After the exhibition Armory Show he knew that the goals that he wanted to achieve were accomplished.
The lectures of Emerson and Whitman caused him a turbulent exaltation: he revokes the circular time and he became fully a metaphysical photograph. He finished his life in the Lake George where his parents had a property where his last photographs expressed a strange identification of his soul and of the trees. The poetry contemplation process was also crucial for the final self-definition as an artist. It made him call some photographs The Dying Chestnut Tree, or even Life and Death: its leaves poor of vitality, but flattened by the light, occupying the space with the void. We could almost hear Whitman’s A Clear Midnight:
This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night sleeps, and the stars.
1. Spring Showers – New York 1900 from Camera Work 36 – 1911. National Gallery of Art, New York.
2. O'Keefe, 1918.
3. The Flat-Iron – New York 1903. International Centre of Photography, New York.
4. From Shelton, Looking West – New York, 1935. National Gallery, New York.
5. The City of Ambitions – New York 1910 (from Camera Work). The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
6. A wet day on the Boulevard – Paris 1894 from Picturesque Bits of New York and Other Studies. The Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Stieglitz Collection 1949 – 887.
Edward J. STEICHEN
1. The Flat-iron - Evening – New York, 1905. Museum of Modern Art New York.
BUNNELL, Petar C., Talking about Stieglitz, in “American Art” Chicago University Press and Smithsonian Art Museum 2007.
CAFFIN, Charles H, Photography as a fine art, Morgan & Morgan, New York 1971.
CAILLE, Bernadette, New York et l’art moderne. Alfred Stieglitz et son cercle. Edition de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris 2004.
HEILBRUN, Françoise, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), 5 Continents / Musée d’Orsay, Milan-Paris 2004.
HOFFMAN, Katherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, New Heaven, London / Yale University Press 2004.
HOMER, William Innes, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde, Boston New York Graphic Society 1977.
GRAZIOLI, Elio, Corpo e figura umana nella fotografia, Mondadori, Milano 2000.
GREENOUGH, Sarah, Alfred Stieglitz: the jet set (the Alfred Stieglitz collection of photographs) National gallery of Art, Washington / Harry N. Abrams 2002.
MARGOLIS, Marienne Fulton (ed.), Camera Work, Dover, New York 1978.
SZARKOWSKI, John, Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1996.
WHELAN, Richard, Alfred Stieglitz: a biography, Little, Brown and Company, Canada Limited 1995.
1. HOMER, William Innes, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde, Boston New York Graphic Society 1977, p. 38.
2. WHELAN, Richard, Alfred Stieglitz: a biography, Little, Brown and Company Canada Limited 1995, p. 277.
3. HOFFMAN, Kaherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2004, p. 245.
4. «Camera notes et revue proto-dada, 291, inspirée par les Soirées de Paris d’Apollinaire. Il expose aussi l’art nègre, les récentes peintures abstraites de Picabia sur la ville de New York et en peu plus tard la fontaine de Duchamp (un urinal) qui avait fait scandal» in HEILBRUN, Françoise, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), 5 Continents / Musée d’Orsay, Milan-Paris 2004, p. 11.
5. HOFFMAN, Katherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2004. P. 213
6. HOFFMAN, Kaherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2004. P. 195
7. Cit. in: Idem, p. 211.
8. Idem, p. 210.
9. Idem, p. 212.
10. CAFFIN, Charles H., Photography as a fine art, Morgan & Morgan, New York 1971, p. 187.
11. «Elles sont à la fois réalistes par la précision avec laquelle sont décrits ces nuages, et abstraites car coupées de toute référence à un paysage donné»in HEILBRUN, Françoise, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), 5 Continents / Musée d’Orsay, Milan-Paris 2004, p. 13.
12. HOFFMAN, Kaherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2004, p. 247.
13. SZARKOWSKI, John, Alfred Stieglitz at lake George, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1996, p. 13.
14. Idem, p. 14.
15. Idem, p. 17.
16. HOFFMAN, Kaherine, Stieglitz: a beginning light, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2004, p. 197.
17. “(…) l’immagine non piѝ come una composizione che mira ad un’armonia estetica intrena, ma come il luogo di un confronto, quando non di un conflitto, di forze e di forme che proprio dal loro contrasto e rapporto non armonico suggeriscono rapporti nuovi tra le forme e le cose (…)” in GRAZIOLI, Elio, Il Modernismo negli Stati Uniti in Corpo e Figura umana nella fotografia, Mondadori, Milano 200, p. 99-100.
18. WHITMAN, Walt, Leaves of Grass, on-line edition published by Bartleby.com, 1999.