Aaron Siskind American, 1903-1991

Overview

Within the photography world Aaron Siskind had no equal. He stands as the only photographer of the American Abstract Expressionist movement and consequently was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. No other photographer has matched or probably ever will match his innovations, his creativity, or his subtle innuendos. Siskind took photographs of recognizable people, places and things but in ways that resulted in a new means of communicating ideas, feelings, and perspectives on life and history. Instead Siskind took images that reflected his own state of mind rather than simply actual recorded images. He created pictures by coming in close to his subjects. He would then “frame out” any superfluous or distracting elements in order to enhance the emotional element or allusive aspect that he found most compelling.  Siskind's early abstract work was not immediately accepted by photographers, but it was widely admired by such painters as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Franz Kline, who were friends of Siskind and who were associated with the movement of Abstract Expressionism. Siskind often exhibited his abstract photographs with their paintings. As a result of his photographic innovations Siskind holds a special place in the annals of photographic history.

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ

Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA

Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO

David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RI

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA

DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur, Switzerland

Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ

Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA

Museo Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY

Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena, CA

Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA

RISD Museum - University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Fine Arts Center, Amherst, MA

University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

Yokohama Museum of Art, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

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