DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
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DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)

Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962

DIANE ARBUS (1923–1971)
Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962
gelatin silver print
signed, titled ‘exasperated boy with a toy hand grenade n.y.’ and dated in ink, signed by Doon Arbus, Administrator in ink and stamped 'A Diane Arbus Print’ with annotations ‘#1341-10-OB (S)-1620’ in ink, stamped Estate copyright credit (verso) This work was printed by Diane Arbus and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Doon Arbus, Administrator, in ink, dated September 13, 2021.
image: 13 1/8 x 12 ¾ in. (33.3 x 32.2 cm.)
sheet: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)
This work was printed by Diane Arbus.
Estate of the artist;
E. G. Gallery, Kansas City, 1975;
acquired from the above by the present owner.
Diane Arbus, Aperture, Millerton, 1972, n.p.
Sandra Phillips, et al., Diane Arbus Revelations, Random House, New York, 2003, pp. 104-105

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Lot Essay

In 1962, six years after she numbered a roll of 35mm film #1 and began devoting herself exclusively to her own work, Diane Arbus started exploring the possibilities of the 2¼” square format that came to define her style and would revolutionize the meaning and possibilities of documentary photography. That same year she produced her iconic photograph of a boy with a toy hand grenade, an image that has transfixed the world for over 50 years. A powerful symbol to be interpreted in multitudinous ways over the ensuing decades, it evokes the seething impotence of childhood, the illusory nature of power, and perhaps most particularly, the dilemma of a country on the brink of war and enduring social unrest.

This print is a lifetime print, made by Arbus in her darkroom, with her signature black borders, and both titled and signed by her in ink on the verso of the print. Lifetime prints made by Diane Arbus of Child with a toy hand grenade, Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962 are exceedingly rare. Six other extant examples are known, and reside in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of art, New York, and four private American collections.

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