Lot 84
  • 84

Lewis Baltz

30,000 - 50,000 USD
45,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Lewis Baltz
  • 'Tract House #24'
  • gelatin silver print
  • 8 3/4  by 13 1/8  in. (22.2 by 33.3 cm.)
oversized, flush-mounted, the edges of the print and mount with black ink, mounted again, signed, dated, and annotated 'EXHIBITION PRINT "D" OF TRACT HOUSE #24' in ink on the reverse, 1971 (The Tract House, pl. 24)


The photographer to the present owner, 1973


New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Photography: Recent Acquisitions, July - October, 1973

Catalogue Note

The Tract Houses was Lewis Baltz’s first group of photographs that was conceptually formalized into a series.  Baltz gave The Museum of Modern Art 25 smaller prints from this series in 1971.  That same year, the Museum exhibited 6 of those photographs as well as the present, enlarged photograph in an exhibition.  This exhibition photograph, on loan from the photographer, was reportedly used near the entrance of the exhibition.

Baltz’s exhibition presentation was very carefully considered:

'It was important to me to play a double game.  That is to say, these photographs were images, and I wanted them to have a second existence as objects.  Because a photograph is an object, but a certain kind of object – not the same kind of an object as a painting or a sculpture or, say, a Maserati, but it’s a certain kind of object.  And I was interested in stressing its particular objecthood' (Archives of American Art Oral History Interview with Lewis Baltz by Matthew Witkovsky, 15-17 November 2009).

Baltz’s exhibition prints were dry-mounted flush to a second piece of archivally processed photographic paper.  The corners were clipped diagonally and the edges of the photograph were blackened with India ink.  The photograph was then mounted to Strathmore board slightly warmer in tone than the prints themselves.  This presentation method ensures the photographs stand apart from, rather than sink into, their surroundings.