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Andreas Feininger

Broken Conch Shell

Artist

Andreas Feininger
Paris 1906 – New York 1999

Title

Broken Conch Shell

Date

About 1977

Materials

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

25.8 x 20.2 cm

Credits

Wysse E. Feininger Bequest, inv. 2010.947

Collection

Graphic Arts

American photographer Andreas Feininger is best known for black and white photographs of cityscapes, but he also produced an extensive body of work featuring natural subjects. Enlarged forms fill the picture plane, showing Feininger’s fascination with the internal structures of both animate and inanimate entities while intimating the effect studies in cabinetmaking and architecture had on his sensibilities. Although taken before international attention was paid to the ecological crisis, looking at such close-ups of shells and coral today inevitably makes us think about how climate change has affected coral reefs around the world. The life of those fragile ecosystems is endangered, as they suffer the consequences of pollution, rising water temperatures, acidification, agricultural runoff and other human-induced damage to the environment.

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