Walker Evans: Lyric Documentary.
Photographs by Walker Evans. Edited by John T. Hill. Essays by Heinz Liesbrock and Alan Trachtenberg.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2006. 260 pp., 200 tritone illustrations, 9¼x9½".
Walker Evans’s career spread over 46 fitful and prolific years, yet in a scant
two, 1935-1936, he produced the singular body of work that came to
define him. During that brief time, while working for the Farm Security
Administration (previously the U.S. Resettlement Administration) photographing
the consequences of the Great Depression, he refined a hybrid
style that combined documentation with sly personal comment. He
delighted in traveling incognito as an artless photojournalist, but with
the independence to satisfy his own artistic designs. Walker Evans: Lyric
Documentary presents these seminal images for the first time as a comprehensive,
cohesive body of work, in chronological order. These are prime
examples of Evans’s alchemy, his seemingly effortless transformation of
mundane fact into sweeping lyricism. They not only define his mature
style, but also offer a path for artists of future generations. Evans has
been called the most important American artist of his century, and the
impact of his vision reaches well beyond the province of photography.
With texts by John T. Hill, Heinz Liesbrock and Allan Trachtenberg.
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