United States of America 1918 – 1978
Dance of the flaming coke, Pittsburg. From the series Pittsburgh. [(Dance of the flaming coke, Pittsburgh): from " A portfolio of ten photographs" [Ed.21/25]] 1955 prtd c.1976 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
Over time, Smith became frustrated with the editorial control of his images at Life magazine. He became a member of Magnum, the famous and prestigious photographers’ agency founded in 1947 and was commissioned to do a feature on the city of Pittsburgh and its iron foundries. The project obsessed Smith, and nearly exhausted his financial and personal resources. Instead of the agreed hundred images made over three weeks, he shot more than 13,000 negatives over three years, out of which he wanted to compose an essay that would be entirely in line with his convictions. Sadly, the essay never appeared in its entirety.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra