Evans, Walker – Unclassified: A Walker Evans Anthology – Catalogue Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2000



Tekst: Jeff L. Rosenheim e.a.

Uitvoering: Gebonden

Aantal pagina’s: 248

Illustraties: Kleur en zwart-wit

Uitgever: Scalo, 2000

Taal: Engels

Staat: Als nieuw

Catalogus bij de tentoonstelling in het Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2000

‘Walker Evans, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog to its current major retrospective, is a rock-solid work providing biographical, historical, and visual accounts of the artist’s life and work. Hambourg, an assistant curator in the museum’s Department of Photography, edited this big book with the straightforward approach that Evans employed in his art. Careful reproduction of well-known black-and-white and little-known color photographs by Evans forms the heart of the volume. There are quality essays here as well, biographical and analytical writing that effectively places Evans’s visual efforts in social and territorial context. From the self-portrait on the cover to the notebook entries to the many photographs clustered along the way, Unclassified: A Walker Evans Anthology quickly broadens the popular view of the photographer as a chronicler of 1930s America with black-and-white film in his camera. Gathered from many files in the large and varied Evans Archive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these collected writings, photos, and ephemera give us a socially concerned writer, artist, and meticulous keeper of his life’s work along with his opinions and his collections of postcards. This version of Evans shakes him free of any narrow channel in which we placed him. He led a robust life, and the stillness that comes from his Depression-era work is shaken up by this energized look at the photographer. Walker Evans pointed a camera at his world and let the documentary result speak as his art. Chief curator in the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Photography, Galassi has taken that objective eye as his theme. Gathering over 300 works from several media by 100 artists, Galassi gives us a volume of reportorial art, showing people, places, and things in “as is” condition. Evans touched people with his photographs because he merged his images with their “real lives.” The question of whether other artists using other means were influenced by Evans’s work or simply liberated to offer a visual vernacular landscape is incidental here. Galassi’s book succeeds because his choices match his theme so well and play off the many examples of Evans’s work that unite these pages. Though the Metropolitan catalog is the first choice for purchase, all three books are well recommended for all types of libraries and essential for serious art collections’