"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, May 18, 2020

Alfred Stieglitz

This 1915 portrait of Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) by Francis Picabia hangs in the National  Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC., a gift of Katharine Graham.
“Here, this is Stieglitz here / faith and love,” reads the translated French title of this satiric depiction of photographer Alfred Stieglitz. 
Published in 1915, as the cover of the avant-garde American journal 291, the original collage was one of a series of witty “mecanomorphs,” or machine portraits, by French artist Francis Picabia, soon to become a leading figure in the developing Dada art movement in New York City, The journal's title derived from Stieglitz's 291 Gallery on Fifth Avenue, a social and creative hub for modernists —many of whom Picabia documented in his Mecanomorph series. 
In this symbolic portrait of Stieglitz, Picabia used the imagery of machine parts and technical manuals to deflate his subject's pretentions. He depicts Stieglitz as a limp and broken camera striving toward, but not reaching, the “Ideal.” The portrait also includes an automobile gearshift lodged in neutral and an engaged hand brake, suggesting that Stieglitz was going nowhere. -- NPG 
Ici, C'est ici Stieglitz
Foi et Amour

F. Picabia
         New York

Here's a 1902 photo of Stieglitz by Gertrude Käsebier (LOC).

No comments:

Post a Comment