press release

Aaron Siskind was born on New York's Lower East Side in 1903. He spent his young life in search of a medium with which to express and develop his aesthetic. He was interested in social reform, and explored music, literature, and poetry. The gift of a camera in 1930 changed his life forever. His early images were powerful evocations of the human condition, many of them done under the auspices of the New York Photo League. Beginning in the 1940's, Aaron's imagery shifted from subject and description to symbol and form.

By the 1950's, this symbol and form, abstraction from a context combined with a passion for surface and texture came to identify the pictorial language of Aaron Siskind. This was his mature artistic voice and this is the work for which he is most celebrated today. Siskind explored great themes of art and literature in the photographic vernacular he invented, an idiom related to the explorations of painters Willem DeKooning and Mark Rothko. Siskind was the photographer accepted by the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Stephen Daiter Gallery will be exhibiting not only classic images of Siskind's oeuvre from this period, but will be featuring vintage prints of a larger size than would be ordinarily seen, as he most often did not have the resources to print these abstractions as he desired. In 1951, Aaron Siskind began teaching at the renowned Institute of Design, Chicago, where he remained for almost twenty years, helping shape the next generation of artists and photographers.


Aaron Siskind: Order with the Tensions Continuing