Walker Evans. Havana 1933. Photographs by Walker Evans. Essay by Gilles Mora. Sequence by John T. Hill. Pantheon, New York, 1989. 112 pp. First American edition. Quarto. Clothbound* in printed dust jacket. Over 80 images.
Includes 3 silver gelatin prints, printed from original negatives by master printer Brian Graham, produced for reproduction in the preparation of this book. (all printed on 11 x 14 in. paper; various image sizes). All prints have the following hand-written notation on verso: "this print was made by Brian Graham in 1989 from Evan's original negative for the estate of Walker Evans." Signed on verso by John T. Hill, the executor of the Evans estate.
A wonderful trio of later prints from Evans' 1933 trip to Cuba that includes one of his most famous images, "Man in White Suit" (shown at right). Evans' traveled to Cuba just a few years before he was hired by Roy Stryker for the Farm Security Administration. He was on assignment to produce pictures for Carleton Beals' leftist polemic, The Crime of Cuba ("Streetcar, El Cerro District" appears there). Trying to get at the incredibly complex ways that Evans' Cuba pictures mingle art and social fact, the poet Andrei Codrescu has written, "He tried to photograph misery, but shapeliness got in the way". In his essay for the 2001 Getty Museum publication, Cuba, which, like Havana 1933, also features this work, he cogently argues for the centrality of this work to Evan's development. It shows him moving on from a preoccupation with the formal beauty of buildings and things and discovering not just how to photograph people, but to do so in a way that is charged with narrative possibility. Curator Judith Keller observed that Evans' Cuba pictures seem influenced by Diego Rivera's politicized content, Hemingway's "stripped down, minimal style" (Evans spent time with Hemingway during his stay on the island) and the "characteristic emptiness" of Eugene Atget."
Book is as new in shrinkwrap.