Aaron Siskind

1903 - 1991 · United States

Artist biography

American photographer Aaron Siskind is best known for his black-and-white, close range, and aerial photographs depicting various objects and surfaces. Though he started out as a documentary photographer in the 1930s with the New York Photo League, Siskind moved towards abstraction in the 1940s, and started using his camera to capture different patterns, shapes and forms in his everyday surroundings. In the 1950s, he focused mostly on photographing architecture.

In a Siskind photograph, strands of seaweed could become like calligraphy, and peeling paint might turn into a sculpture. He often attempted to blur the lines between photography and painting, and was often exhibited alongside the paintings by the Abstract Expressionists, with whom he shared great affinity. Siskind was also inspired by the formal and technical approaches of Harry Callahan and Lászlo Moholy-Nagy.

His works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., among others. Recently, his works were shown in two exhibitions at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York: Aaron Siskind: 1940s – 1960s and Aaron Siskind (2019).

Aaron Siskind

  • Exhibitions 6
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