‘Clouds were a particularly good subject for an artist like Coburn [Alvin Langdon Coburn 1882-1966] who sought the broad poetic view of things.  Granted that no two clouds are the same; nevertheless, their meanings (except to farmers and meteorologists) were sufficiently imprecise and generalized to allow Coburn to use them as abstract visual elements.  Coburn used the skies as children and poets use them, and as Leonardo used stained old walls: as an analogue model of imaginary worlds.  They provided him with an inexhaustible supply of infinitely variable forms, richer and less predictable than the images formed by his little box of mirrors.’  Looking at Photographs, John Szarkowski, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1973

Photo: Dunwich, Suffolk, July 2018


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