Jan 28, 2008

Circles Plus Triangles

Circles Plus Triangles

c. 1928

Hiromu Kira

(American, 1898–1991)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 24.6 x 32.8 cm (9 11/16 x 12 15/16 in.); Second mount: 34.3 x 41.9 cm (13 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.); First mount: 24.9 x 38.1 cm (9 13/16 x 15 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 55.9 cm (18 x 22 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.162



During his brief career spanning the 1920s and early 1930s, Kira was the most significant Japanese
American Pictoralist in the American West. Although he worked with a variety of subjects, he is best
known for his still-life photography. This deceptively simple composition of one basket supported by
two others, all carefully and eloquently placed in a simple, neutral setting, is enlivened by his use
of dramatic light and shadows. His emphasis on line, tone, shallow pictorial space, silhouettes,
and rhythmic shadow patterns suggests a modern photographic sensibility, especially one promoted
by German photographers in the 1920s. However, Kira purposely continued to work within the tenets
of Pictoralism and its attention to beauty, both in subject matter and print quality and presentation.

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