Walker Evans: Decade by Decade

Overview

Walker Evans (1903-1975) is, without doubt, one of the most influential American photographers ever, and many of his images have become fixed in the collective memory. But while Evans' uncompromising depiction of poverty during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the subject of a series commissioned by the Farm Security Administration, has become a key chapter in the history of photography, his equally innovative images from later decades have generally commanded less attention. This exciting new monograph ...
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Overview

Walker Evans (1903-1975) is, without doubt, one of the most influential American photographers ever, and many of his images have become fixed in the collective memory. But while Evans' uncompromising depiction of poverty during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the subject of a series commissioned by the Farm Security Administration, has become a key chapter in the history of photography, his equally innovative images from later decades have generally commanded less attention. This exciting new monograph attempts to redress the balance by examining Evans' complete body of work, and features many rarely seen photographs, including his final works, a sequence of Polaroids shot in the early 1970s (a sequence made possible by an unlimited supply of film from its manufacturer). Evans' re-ascendancy in the 1970s, and his close relationship with legendary Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski, are also closely examined, in this essential and definitive volume on a great photographer who certainly achieved his aim to produce pictures that were "literate, authoritative, transcendent."Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Walker Evans (1903-1975) took up photography in 1928. His book collaboration with James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), which portrayed the lives of three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Depression, has become one of that era's most defining documents. Evans joined the staff of Time magazine in 1945, and shortly after moved to Fortune magazine, where he stayed until 1965. That year, he became a professor of photography at the Yale University School of Art. Evans died at his home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Walker Evans's reputation was initially established by his Depression-era collaboration with James Agee on Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. That tribute to Southern sharecropper families, as well as Evans's work for the Farm Security Administration, had a profound influence on later artists. However, from the 1940s through the 1960s his celebrity underwent a long dry spell during a commercial association with Fortune magazine, and it was only after the Evans partisan John Szarkowski succeeded Edward Steichen at the photography department of New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1961 that he was rehabilitated among the artistic cognoscenti. His 1930s and post-1960 photos remain those for which he is best known. In his latest book, Crump (Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970–1980) addresses Evans's entire oeuvre, making a decisive case that a cohesive visual unity runs throughout. Many of the 216 photos featured here were taken from the Fortune archive, others from earlier series (such as a 1933 trip to Cuba); all enliven the pages. Crump opens the monograph with an engrossing biographical account of the Evans-Szarkowski association, propelling his central point of Evans's qualitative consistency. VERDICT The best book on Evans in years, this will appeal to photography pundits.—Douglas F. Smith, Berkeley P.L., CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783775724913
  • Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co KG
  • Publication date: 5/31/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,036,349
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 1.12 (d)

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