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Paul Outerbridge, The Kitchen Table: A Study in Ellipses, 1921, platinum print, 4 1/2 × 3 1/2".

Paul Outerbridge

Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Paul Outerbridge, The Kitchen Table: A Study in Ellipses, 1921, platinum print, 4 1/2 × 3 1/2".

The forty-one images in this survey of Paul Outerbridge’s photographs—the largest show of his works since a J. Paul Getty Musuem retrospective in 2009—included still lifes, advertising images, and erotic nudes, though the distinctions among these categories was often far from clear. In many of the still lifes, geometric form is seemingly more important than the familiar, ordinary objects Outerbridge takes as his ostensible subject matter; The Kitchen Table: A Study in Ellipses, 1921—an arrangement of three eggs, a bowl of milk, and a milk bottle—is exemplary. In some of these, Outerbridge daringly isolates individual objects, treating them as pure forms—essentializing them, as it were, at the expense of their everyday function: Thus, Ide Collar and Telephone, both 1922, and Jell-O and Marmon Crankshaft, both 1923, approach pure abstraction. All are handed

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