Aaron Siskind is best known as a teacher and innovator in abstract photography. Starting in the 30’s, while teaching public school English in New York City, Siskind’s early photography was distinguished by a socially conscious documentarian effort. Later, as a professor of photography at the Art Institute of Design in Chicago, and then at Rhode Island School of Design, his focus shifted to deeply abstract details of nature and architecture, which depicted the element as a new, independent entity. Heavily influenced by abstract expressionism and his travels around the world, Siskind was also the editor of Choice, a photography periodical, and cofounder of the Society for Photographic Education.
During his tenure at RISD, Aaron Siskin commissioned several portfolio editions from Portfoliobox. The collection shown here was published posthumously in 1999 though the photos were taken in 1976. The platinum prints were made by his former student, John Rudiak.
This Deluxe Edition Folio is the pinnacle of understated elegance. To match the warmth of the rich black tones achieved with platinum printing, the folio was wrapped in dark orange Brillianta, a linen book cloth from Holland. The interior is wrapped in Canson Mi-Tientes, from a paper making factory in France that dates back to 1557. The only obvious decorations are the ribbon closure, which matches the interior cover material, and the printed paper label set in a sunken, recessed well. The ink used to print that label was specially mixed to match the Brillianta wrap color precisely.
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