Walker Evans Essay

Walker Evans Essay-59
Meister points to one of Warhol’s paintings of Marilyn Monroe, visible in the adjacent Gallery 19 and then to Evans’ “Houses and Billboards in Atlanta” (1936), where film legend Carole Lombard’s face appears on a billboard for the romantic comedy .“No matter what you know about art—let’s say you have just been through two or three galleries—you will be struck by a gallery full of photos,” she said.Meister includes Lincoln Kirstein’s essay on Walker Evans’ “Photographs of Victorian Architecture,” printed in a 1933 Mo MA Bulletin, in a vitrine in the exhibit.

Meister points to one of Warhol’s paintings of Marilyn Monroe, visible in the adjacent Gallery 19 and then to Evans’ “Houses and Billboards in Atlanta” (1936), where film legend Carole Lombard’s face appears on a billboard for the romantic comedy .“No matter what you know about art—let’s say you have just been through two or three galleries—you will be struck by a gallery full of photos,” she said.Meister includes Lincoln Kirstein’s essay on Walker Evans’ “Photographs of Victorian Architecture,” printed in a 1933 Mo MA Bulletin, in a vitrine in the exhibit.

“I love the idea that somebody can look at these pictures and just look,” Meister said.

Without a title, we see a photo of a chic black woman, not knowing that the setting is “42nd Street” and, only after turning to the title card, do we realize that an elegantly dressed man in a white suit and a straw hat is a “Citizen in Downtown Havana”, 1932.

The first quotes from a list that Evans made in preparing the 1938 exhibit: “Show Ideas: small defined sections, people, faces, architecture, repetition, small pictures, large pictures.” Evans experimented with print size and groupings, made possible by the development of new technologies for enlargement in the 1930s.

A second wall text passage describes Evans’s work for the Resettlement Administration (RA).

Ultimately, Meister chose Gallery 18 on the museum’s fourth floor, replacing works by Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, and Agnes Martin, with 56 images, almost all contact prints, drawn from the Museum’s collection of hundreds of Evans’s photos.

“Walker Evans was interested in American vernacular culture and in images of American vernacular culture,” Meister said; this influenced her decision to locate the show next to galleries filled with works by American artists including Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol and Pollock.

You’ll see that Walker Evans is still, in his way, continuing his 8×10 camera perception, if I may use that strange phrase, of the world about him.” That perception of the world about him is very much evident in the current Walker Evans exhibit at Mo MA, “American Photographs” (July 19th through January 26th), celebrating the 75th anniversary of Evans’ first solo photography show there in 1938 and the reissue of the iconic book, .

It is the eighth Walker Evans exhibit at the museum.

“Even a lay person with no understanding of photography will pick up sufficient signals.

The idea here is to capture Evans’s legacy, placing it in context.” His legacy is one of clean, clear images—inspiration to the artists of the American avant-garde.

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