Skip to Content

To best protect the health and safety of our community, the museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Chicago 42

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

Image actions

  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1952

Artist:

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

Artist

Aaron Siskind

Title

Chicago 42

Origin

United States

Date

1952

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Inscriptions

Inscribed recto, on mount, upper left, in purple ink and graphite: "CH 42, June, 1952 / AARON SISKIND / 56.395 / RX 1811"; inscribed and signed recto, on mount, center, in graphite: "CR 42 6/52 / Aaron Siskind"

Dimensions

34.6 × 42 cm (image/paper); 45.8 × 55.9 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Noah Goldowsky

Reference Number

1956.395

Copyright

© Aaron Siskind Foundation.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share