Essays by Catherine Duncan and Ute Eskildsen.
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In 1950 the photographer Paul Strand left New York for Europe, where he and his wife, Hazel, would remain for twenty-five years until his death, in 1976. Settling in Orgeval, a small town near Paris, Paul and Hazel begain traveling widely, as Strand searched for "the perfect village" - where, sustained by hard and honest work, men and women coexisted harmoniously with nature and machines. Using large-format 8-by-10 and 4-by-5 cameras for most of his work and creating prints with four-dimensional depth and vibrancy, he sought to depict a timeless sense of community.
Catherine Duncan met Paul and Hazel Strand soon after their arrival in Paris, in 1950. During the latter years of their friendship she worked closely with Strand on texts for his books and portfolios. Duncan lives in Paris, where she directs workshops on collage for the French Department of Education. She has published plays and essays, and The Grandmother's Book, for children.
Ute Eskildsen has been director of the photographic department at the Museum Folkwang, in Essen, Germany, since 1979. Since 1975 she has organized an exhibition program devoted to contemporary photography. She previously assisted Otto Steinert at the University of Essen and worked as a freelance curator. Specializing in photography of the 1920s, she has published several monographs and catalogs.
Emigrating to Paris in 1950, American photographer Paul Strand (1890-1976) traveled widely with his wife Hazel Kingsbury across France, Italy, Romania and the Hebrides in search of an ideal village embodying an unbroken exchange between people, environment and nature. They also made photographic odysseys to Morocco, Ghana and Egypt. The 113 quietly moving photographs in this magical album capture the particularities of each region yet also speak of the common humanity of the people emphatically portrayed. Duncan, a Paris-based writer/artist who befriended the Strands in France, provides an informal reminiscence. Eskildsen, a German museum director, capably charts Strand's quest for a whole, organic lifestyle and its expression in his peripatetic work, which has received much less critical attention than his early pioneering pictures.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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