Aug 21, 2007

The Inferno--Grand Canyon

The Inferno--Grand Canyon


Karl F. Struss

(American, 1886–1981)

Palladium print

Image: 11.5 x 9.2 cm (4 1/2 x 3 5/8 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)

Gift of Mrs. R. Henry Norweb and Mrs. R. Henry Norweb, Jr. in memory of Kenyon C. Bolton 1987.151



During the first two decades of the 20th century, Struss was one of the most important photographers working with Pictorialism. After closing his commercial studio in New York in 1919, he moved to Hollywood, where he later became a successful cinematographer. It was on the trip west that Struss visited the Grand Canyon, encountering light, color, and spatial effects surpassing anything he had ever experienced. Immediately inspired, he produced landscape images that were unlike any of his previous work. This photograph's visual complexity and the rich tonal range provided by the palladium process justly recorded the grandeur of the view, providing an immense sense of space and distance. Carefully composed to take advantage of strong light and shadow patterns, he turned geological formations into bold, interlocking abstract forms.


Karl Struss
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