Subway. Photographs and text by Bruce Davidson. Afterword by Henry Geldzahler. Edited and produced by Floyd A. Yearout. Aperture, New York, 1986. Unpaged. Oblong Quarto. First Edition. SIGNED on half-title page. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. 60 color reproductions.
Bruce Davidson: Photographs. Introduction by Henry Geldzahler. Agrinde/Summit, New York, 1978. 167 pp. Quarto. First edition. SIGNED on title page. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Black-and-white reproductions.
Near Fine+ in Fine- dust jacket; bumps to upper corners; jacket very lightly worn with small nick at fore-edge.
With letter on Davidson's own letterhead, dated November 110 [sic] 1994, addressed to renowned printer Richard Benson, warmly thanking him for his advice during a phone call, and referring to [Albert Watson's] Cyclops, also produced by Benson.
The retrospective monograph contains photographs from fifteen of Davidson's photo-essays taken over a twenty year period--all predating Subway by a decade or more--including The Widow of Montmartre(1956), The Dwarf(1958), Brooklyn Gang(1959), The Bridge(1963), Black Americans(1962-65), The Cafeteria(1976). Summing up Davidson's achievement to date John Szarkowski wrote, "Few contemporary photographers give us their observations so unembellished--so free of apparent craft or artifice."
Using color film and a flash, Davidson ventured into the depths of New York's subway system to explore its hardcore reality. After several times narrowly escaping harm, he emerged from these depths with a gritty set of pictures that reflects a wide range of tense, emotional experiences. His text speaks of both his fear and his love for the vibrant ethnic mix that is the soul of the city. "To prepare myself for the subway, I started a crash weight-loss diet and a military fitness exercise program, and I jogged in the park early every morning. I knew I would need to train like an athlete to be physically able to carry my heavy camera equipment around in the subway for hours every day." Over a quarter-century after its publication, the New York City subway looks very different indeed.