stieglitz say that directly?
well who wasn't sceptical when they first started learning about japonisme? i know i was. but i did some research anyway, and here is what i found. no, i could not find one quote by steiglitz about
but, he did have an enormous collection of them. and his wife talked about her work being strongly influenced by them. and the man who first gave him a
camera, post, admitted to being strongly influenced by them. and, lastly, all of the protegés who stieglitz featured in his groundbreaking magazine camera work, or in his equally groundbreaking gallery, credit japanese art for having had strong influences on their own.
so in the end, at least at this point, one can only infer. but stronger than any found quote is the ability to believe one's own eyes.
i see diagonal paths leading the eye to far-off distances. i see entire pieces where the frame is split almost perfectly diagonally, with one-half being nearly empty. and again, i see the diagonals.
to study hiroshige, for example, is to study diagonal construction. to study stieglitz is the same thing.
other things i see are the large foreground elements, often diagonal themselves. among other things, these serve as frames.
they may keep things in a perspective through which the artist wishes to communicate something.
it is one of the ele- ments that was strongly picked up in the graphic arts of the period as well.
some- times the fore- ground ele-
ment can act as a contrast to shapes in the background, straight lines to rolling hillocks, to domes.
sometimes it is tone playing upon tone, shape upon shape. note how the background trees in sadanobu's image serve much the same purpose as do the background buildings in stieglitz's; even the shapes have resonance.
and some- times it is mere- ly the love of beauty, and the abandonment of the need to make the image seem 'flawless,' while at the same time revealing its perfection.
in the end, we must admit that not all artists who were strenuously influenced by the 'new ways of seeing' (which occurred as a result of the fresh vision from a culture that had developed for over 200 years with no outside influence), admitted it. who knows if they were even aware. some were, obviously, but when perception shifts, it's all too easy to assume it's an internal shift rather than an external one.
but an outsider with a century's perspective can see it plain as day, and can see the process still, to this day, unfolding.