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Kenneth Anger, Topanga Canyon, Composite with Gustave Doré Engraving

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.


1954, printed 1960s


Edmund Teske
American, 1911–1996

About this artwork

Chicago native Edmund Teske followed his interest in motion pictures to Hollywood, where he settled in 1943 and lived for over 50 years. Teske’s new home became his principal source of subject matter, from the rugged Southern California landscape to colorful Los Angeles celebrities. These elements meet in the portrait of underground experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, shown here astride the otherworldly rock features of Topanga Canyon. Per Anger’s suggestion, Teske overlaid the print with an 1866 illustration by Gustave Doré for John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost depicting the meeting of Satan’s great council to plot the recovery of heaven. Teske joined this combination print with his signature duotone solarization technique, achieved by exposing prints and negatives to light partway through the development process. Through these experiments, he constructed an imaginary and dreamlike vision, setting his work apart from the straightforward documentary photography in vogue at the time.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Edmund Teske


Kenneth Anger, Topanga Canyon, Composite with Gustave Doré Engraving


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 1954


Gelatin silver print


33.7 × 23.6 cm (image); 34.7 × 25 (paper); 45.5 × 26.2 (first mount); 67.5 × 52.2 cm (second mount)

Credit Line

Hugh Edwards Photography and Media Purchase Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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