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Paul Outerbridge

Seated Nude by Paul Outerbridge

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Stephen Bulger Gallery ( Toronto, ON)
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  • Artwork Info
  • About the Artist
  • About this Photograph
  • circa 1922
    Platinum print mounted to period board
    Stamped, "Paul Outerbridge Jr. POC#", in ink, annotated, in pencil, au verso
    Exhibition History: Art Gallery of Ontario, "Responding to Photography", Oct. 13 - Dec 2, 1984
    Printed circa 1922

  • Paul Outerbridge (1896-1956) was a pioneer among artists exploring the use of colour photography. A successful fashion and commercial photographer, he was a creator of erotic nudes that were not prominently exhibited during his lifetime.

    In 1921, Outerbridge enrolled at Columbia University to study photography and was quickly discovered by Vanity Fair and Vogue. In 1925, Outerbridge travelled to London, achieving further acclaim before settling in Paris for a number of years, where he befriended artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. He returned to New York City in 1929 to concentrate on his explorations in colour photography.

    A scandal in 1943 over his fetish photography caused Outerbridge to relocate from New York City to Hollywood. Although technically retired, he continued to receive commissions despite the controversies surrounding his work. Following soon after his death in 1958, the Smithsonian Institution mounted a one-man retrospective of his photographs. Outerbridge’s output has enjoyed periods of recurring interest in recent decades.

    –Adapted from Wikipedia.

  • This is an early photograph by Outerbridge. One of a series of famous nudes made at the beginning of his career, this early work demonstrates his innate mastery of form and light. The subtle tones of the platinum print are the perfect medium to display the softness of the image, while the intimate scale of this print mirrors the sitter’s modesty.