Photographs of Surfaces

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"The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh.” —Edward Weston

Steel, flesh, billboards, or boulders—photograph anything close-up enough and the world of objects morphs into a textured surface. Weston was only one of many photographers to exploit the camera’s capacity to fill the frame with painterly passages. Aaron Siskind's black-and-white photographs of peeling paint on walls, for example, resemble the allover compositions of Abstract Expressionist painting and bring surfaces—paradoxically—into high relief.

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