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Cheese and Crackers
In a swiftly evolving era of science and technology, Paul Outerbridge saw photography as an ideal creative medium. In the early months of World War I, the New Yorker became a pilot in the British Royal Flying Corps in Canada. Wounded in battle, he enlisted in the American Signal Corps, where he learned photography. After the war Outerbridge studied with Clarence White intending to become a commercial photographer. This is a photograph from a series that he undertook to refine his command of the platinum-palladium technique. In his Manhattan apartment Outerbridge set up small still-life studies. He arranged a few small, commonplace subjects in each, striving to form an abstract composition. He employed principles of Cubism and Modernist design, framing his subjects tightly. Outerbridge used oblique camera angles, trying to capture the freshness of a momentary glimpse.
from Touchstones of the Twentieth Century: A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame (exhibition, 2020-21)