From the Outer Rim, France, 1921

From the Outer Rim, France, 1921
gelatin silver print
title, date and printing annotations in pencil (on the verso)
image/sheet: 7 7/8 x 9 7/8in. (20 x 25cm.)
Kate Steichen;
A private collection, U.S.A;
with Edwynn Houk Gallery, Chicago
Steichen, Steichen's Legacy: Photographs, 1895-1973, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000, pl. 232; Brandow and Ewing, Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography, W.W. Norton & Company, 2007, pl. 82, p. 114

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Lot Essay

The composition of From the Outer Rim, like Steichen's other great masterpiece in this sale, Triumph of the Egg, may at first seem puzzling. To achieve the mystical, rather eerie effect of the image, Steichen pressed a dish of some sort against a light source above. Originally acquired from Steichen's daughter Kate, it is extraordinarily rare, possibly unique.
When it was purchased, Kate Steichen indicated that most of the vintage prints from this Voulangis period had remained in the family. The very personal and empirical nature of the work Steichen produced during this melancholy post-war period may be a reason for this. For Steichen these photographs were a spiritual exercise, an experiment and a meditation.

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