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  • Provenance

    From the Collection of Joanna Steichen; to Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York; to the present Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay


    Following an intense active duty in the First World War, Edward Steichen was consequentially left with the need to discover a new creative outlet as a means to reenergize his photographic drive. Ultimately, he chose to relinquish his former Pictorialist style for Modernism, favoring sleek lines and geometric abstraction over romantic landscapes and classical nudes. His images were created at the juncture of photography and science as his focus shifted to representing weight, dimensionality and proportion. As such, the process of experimenting became as important as the end product for the pioneering efforts involved in presenting the subject matter. In Triumph of the Egg, Steichen haphazardly assembled a group of seemingly unrelated objects—among them a bell jar, a disc, a harmonica, and, of course, an egg. The resulting composition is surprisingly—and triumphantly—abstract, as the objects transcend their own materiality by becoming successfully reduced to their basic constituents of tone, volume, and shape, marking an important turning point in the famed photographer’s career.

220

Triumph of the Egg

1921
Two-color process palladium print.
9 1/2 x 7 5/8 in. (24.1 x 19.4 cm).

Estimate
$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $47,500

PHOTOGRAPHS

16 April 2010
New York