Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

Imogen Cunningham

Frida Kahlo

1931

Platinum-Palladium Photograph

Image dimensions: 3.5" x 4.5"
Mounted dimensions: 14" x 18"

Pristine condition

certified authentic
Add to Collection — $5,000
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

Details

Description

Platinum-Palladium photograph by Imogen Cunningham, "Frida Kahlo, 1931." Individually handmade by Imogen Cunningham’s son, Rondal Partridge (1917-2015), from the artist’s negative. Mounted on archival museum board with Cunningham’s embossed signature on mount front. Signed by Rondal Partridge with the Cunningham Trust Stamp of Authenticity on mount verso.

Condition

The HD Video of the actual work in question has been provided as a visual condition report. If you would like a written condition report in addition to the HD video, please

Artist

Imogen Cunningham occupied the role of grande dame of American photography. She began photographing in 1901, some sixty-two years after the invention of the medium, and continued to make and take photographs until shortly before her death in 1976. Her career was one of the longest and most influential in the history of photography. Since she felt that her feminist vision separated her at a time when most photographers were male, Cunningham began formalizing her photographs through abstraction and tight cropping, demonstrating her understanding of modernism while simultaneously introducing a delicate eroticism to her imagery. Cunningham’s work was frequently irreverent, always perceptive, and often years ahead of its time. As Margery Mann noted, she had “that rarest of all qualities among photographers, a sense of humor” (Imogen Cunningham: Photographs, University of Washington Press, 1970).

imogen cunningham self portrait

Medium

The platinum process is based on the characteristics of light-sensitive iron salts, which react with platinum salts to form platinum metal. Palladium is a very rare metal and is slightly whiter in appearance than platinum and white gold. A sheet of paper is coated with a solution of these salts to make it sensitive to light. Once dry, the sensitized paper is exposed to light through a negative, developed in a chemical solution, cleared, and washed. The final photograph’s hue may range from charcoal gray to sepia depending on the chemical properties of the sensitizer and developer. Various image hues can also be achieved by adjusting the moisture content of the sensitized paper and/or the temperature at which a photograph is developed. For example, Yumiko Izu achieves her light Platinum-Palladium’s by increasing the temperature of the water. Further chemical additions to the sensitizer and/or developer provide seemingly endless options for fine-tuning the appearance of the photograph.

The first commercially manufactured platinum paper was introduced in 1879 by British inventor William Willis Jr., who perfected the process over the following decades, gradually expanding the variety of his Platinotype Company products. A chemical variant of the platinum process was introduced in 1887 by Austrian Giuseppe Pizzighelli and marketed by several manufacturers in Europe and the United States. All commercially manufactured Platinum-based papers have been discontinued, hence why all our contemporary artists make their own Platinum photographic emulsion.