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Correction-avis sur une analyse

Cours gratuits > Forum > Thèmes généraux, jeux || En bas


Correction-avis sur une analyse
Message de anachan posté le 19-02-2018 à 18:24:11 (S | E | F)
Hello guys, j'ai une analyse de ce tableau à faire. Qu'en pensez-vous ? (ps : si vous voyez des fautes aussi ce serait sympa de m'en faire part ^^), merci d'avance

Edward Steichen, Flat Iron Building, 1906


The image we are going to study is a photograph taken in 1906 by Edward Steichen. On this shot we can see appear the Flat Iron. The construction of this building was finished 4 years ago. This building, located at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway (originally called Fuller Building), remains one of New York's most popular buildings. Symbol of New York and witness to the architectural audacity of the early 20th century, has inspired many other artists before, such as the friend of Steichen, Stieglitz. The latter had indeed taken a shot of the construction one year before Edward Steichen, this cliche could be perceived as a kind of response or tribute to his friend. Steichen and Stieglitz chose this photograph for inclusion in the "International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography" at the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) in Buffalo, New York, in 1910. exhibition of six hundred photographs of Stieglitz's efforts to promote pictorialist photography as an art.


The description of the photo can be done in three horizontal and vertical parts.
In the center we have the flatiron building, on the right another building we see in the shadows, just like the man with the walking hat, and cars
on the left, we can notice branches, at the bottom of the painting the floor of the street, shining because of the rain, in need of photography we can notice that the top of the building is cut

The color of the original photograph was in black and white but Steichen used long, tedious manual techniques to change the pigmentation of the shot.

3 prints with different pigments were used: one bluish, the other ocher and the last orange and a draw with platinum salt was realized.
It can be said that the building for the first time, seems to be clearly the main subject of photography. Unlike the surrounding decor, it is in the center and is clearly identifiable

The light makes it possible to emphasize the shades of the branches which are in front of the objective and hide the building. The weather of this evening highlights the cliché with the reflection of the building and tree branches in the puddles. Since there does not seem to be a leaf on the trees, this shot was probably a rainy winter evening.
Then we can see that the size of the building is highlighted by the fact that the photograph is cut before the top of the building, it is not seen fully which reinforces this impression of « grandeur ».

At the level of those present on the ground, we can distinguish only a clear and distinct silhouette of a man with a hat, back, walking straight ahead and shadows of cars and other silhouettes. We feel like we are in the picture.

There is a contrast between the bluish sky, the silhouettes that are suggested to us and the building itself. A chiaroscuro effect was indeed chosen by Edward Steichen to represent the "Flatiron".

The tree branches on the left side of the photograph may remind us of the Japanese woodcuts that were in vogue at the turn of the 20th century. The color effect can make us think of Whistler's Nocturnes. Steichen inspired by Japanese culture ?: Alvin Langdon Coburn, NightLight
Alfred Stiefglitz, FlatIron, 1903


By 1880, new instant cameras had been developed and made available to a wide audience of amateurs. Photographers such as Steichen and Stieglitz have therefore decided to fight against the standardization of images that stemmed from this technical revolution. They created a photographic aesthetic of their own to place the artistic act at the heart of the practice of photographic art.
To propose an enhancement of the real by privileging the sensitivity of the photographer in order to stand out and to preserve their statute of artist.

The beginning of the 20th century is also a period of great architectural construction. This building has been used in many works of art, but also in the film world, which highlights the fame of the structure, representative of the period of strong construction of the early 1900s in the Us and the power of Manhattan and from NY.

Art: Alvin Langdon Coburn
Jessie Tarbox Beals
Fred Stein
Painters from the Ashcan School: John Sloan, Everett Shinn, Ernest Lawson, Paul Cornoyer, Childe Hassam, lithographer Joseph Pennell, illustrator John Edward Jackson and cubist Albert Gleizes

Cinema: appearance of the building in the Spider-man saga (where is the Daily Bugle, newspaper in which Peter Parker works)
→ the adorable neighbor, Kim Novak the witch seduces James Stewart at the top of the building
→ in Usual Suspects, a plan showing the building in all its height Godzilla, the building is accidentally destroyed by the US Army Mr. Popper and pinguoins, Mr. Popper's office is located in the building and the latter being real estate agent , wants to buy it entirely.

Dating back to 1906, this photograph carries with it most of the seeds of artistic modernity: besides the backlit effect of which we have spoken previously, which relegates in the shadows passers-by and trees in the foreground, the framing tight, deliberately cutting the top of the building, and the fog that surrounds it reveal the influence of the aesthetic research of the American and European vanguard with which Steichen had frequent contacts.


1) Calm and intensity

Lightness of the cliché : at the first sight we could think of a painting.
We have seen previously that multiple manual work had been done on the color of the shot. and sharpness that we will develop later .. We can notice that the calm released by the photo can be explained by the voids that seem surrounded the building. There are only bare branches of trees that scrape architecture, and shadows and silhouettes ... Then there are these pictorial effects and artistic choices, the effect of framing with the top of the building that is not not shown in its entirety although placed in the middle of the cliche. There is also a game against the light, contrasts, blur and sharpness ..

The foreground of the photo alternates between dark masses and illuminated masses. Moisture-laden air gives the background of the image a diffuse brightness on which the shadows of cars and silhouettes are cut out. Finally, amputating the Flatiron from its top and reflecting its shadow on the glistening pavement, as well as the Japanese aesthetic of these branches that seem to hide it, offset the plans and creates a depth to the image.
The building finally appears as the only subject of the cliché, as it might have been in the subject of Stieglitz for example, but as a component, only part of the cliché.
The intensity of the cliché also shows through the apparent sweetness of the pigmentation, although there is this famous contrast chiaroscuro. The sublime modification made with blue-green bichromate gum gives the cliché the poetic charge of an impressionist painting.

The rain-soaked streets are almost empty, except for the three taxis, their drivers and the figure of the man in the hat, so we really have a sense of calm. Yet this calm contrasts with the points of reflection and light: streetlights, reflections in the puddles of water .. but also with the sweeping effect created by the branches to the left of the cliché. This creates a dynamic in the cliché, by the created perspective. Photography gives a sense of calm and tranquility but also a kind of mystery. The top of the building seems to come out of the mist, we are unable to identify the man with the hat .. and the only thing that looks stable is the building, it's the only thing clearly defined in the cliché. The latter seems heavier at the top while logically we would expect the opposite.

2) Game between sharpness and blur

The depth of field that is the space between the points closest to and farthest from the camera lens is striking, as are the reasonably sharp details of the shot. What concerns us when we look for the first time is the driver of the cabin in the foreground and the construction itself, clearly defined. And all that contrasts when we go off, things get more vague. The way things come off abruptly and then melt creates a feeling of intensity and calm at the same time. Look at the trunk path of the young tree merges with the second cab driver, and that even seems to get up from his top hat. The driver closest to the camera seems stronger than the Flatiron itself. The silhouettes of the three pilot-forms in two dimensions form a sort of diagonal line that goes deep. It's like what we said for the branch earlier. Whereas at first sight the branch seems to be an interference, it is really a unifying force in the whole composition. As it crosses, it also joins the foreground with the background, the sky with the buildings. It may mean that we must not let problems or obstacles prevent us from seeing the beauty of the world.

3) Momentary and permanent

As Edward Steichen pointed his camera at the Flatiron Building on a rainy evening in 1904, he immortalized an ephemeral moment: he saw this moment as a commentary on the permanent structure of reality. Steichen took this photograph originally in black and white. However, he worked for five years to get to the printing technique that added color, to bring out what was there with richness, using dichromate on platinum. The shimmering brightness of platinum and the dense rest of gum arabic work together for one purpose. This technique, built in layers of chemicals and pigments, gives more intensity to the photograph: something evaporates and something more definitively. The goal is to highlight things to show them as they really are and to connect these things with their environment.


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