new-york

Arnold Newman

Sidney Janis Gallery

Arnold Newman is best known for his masterful photographs portraying prominent scientists and artists. In these works, Newman treats his subjects like still lifes, carefully framing them in an intricate web of their working environs. In one quintessential portrait of Piet Mondrian the artist stands like a black vertical column inside the stark De Stijl environment of his New York studio. His black suit echoes the verticals in the surrounding architecture of door jambs, window panes, and monochrome squares that float upon the white-washed walls. Newman melds subject and environment so well that the final image absorbs the formal properties of Mondrian’s art, and the artist and his paintings dematerialize into the photograph’s general texture.

The portraits provide an important context in which to consider another medium less commonly associated with Newman—collage. As early as 1940, Newman

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