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Tenayuca (T-2'55/M4)

A work made of gelatin silver print.
© Aaron Siskind Foundation.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Aaron Siskind
American, 1903–1991

About this artwork

Although he began his career as a documentarian, Aaron Siskind quickly became known for photographs that concerned themselves with exploring internal formal relationships rather than depicting recognizable objects. Active in the artistic milieu of postwar New York, Siskind made photographs in dialogue with the work of the Abstract Expressionist painters, with whom he was socially and professionally close. He sought to find a new language for photographic depiction that could transcend what was in front of the camera. “First, and emphatically,” he wrote in 1950, “I accept the flat plane of the picture surface as the primary frame of reference of the picture.” Siskind’s radically abstract photographs of walls covered with graffiti, chalk, or peeling paint and paper would be recognized as a pioneering development in 20th-century photography.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Aaron Siskind


Tenayuca (T-2'55/M4)


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1955


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, on mount, upper right, in graphite: "95" [encircled]; verso, on mount, center, in graphite: "T-2 55 / M 4 (torn poster on wall with word "aqua". / Tenayuca 1955"; verso, on mount, lower center, in graphite: "1" [encircled]; verso, on mount, lower left, in graphite: "Siskind"


Image/paper: 34.5 × 41.9 cm (13 5/8 × 16 1/2 in.); Mount: 45.8 × 56 cm (18 1/16 × 22 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Photography and Media Purchase Fund

Reference Number



© Aaron Siskind Foundation.

Extended information about this artwork

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