10.31.2022 – instead, approached with

instead, approached with
clarity, subjects project
their own poetry

In an article titled, Let there be light: England’s Anglican cathedrals at dawn, about the late Magnum photographer Peter Marlow, Martin Barnes writes:

In 1971, on a trip to Boston during his first year at university as a student of psychology, Marlow visited the Museum of Fine Arts and saw an exhibition of photographs by Walker Evans (1903–1975), curated by John Szarkowski.

Alongside his famous portraits of the rural poor during the Great Depression, Evans’s characteristically precise and intelligent photographic sensibility was often applied to depicting the modern American vernacular: farmhouse interiors, factories, shop signs, roadside warehouses, housing and churches.

Evans avoided the overt stylistic gestures of authorship prevalent in fine-art photography of the time.

Instead, approached with steady and factual clarity, his subjects are allowed to project their own poetry.

Inspired by this encounter with Evans, Marlow purchased a Graflex Speed Graphic camera on his return home, and his career in photography began.

I am not sure, but still pretty sure, that, considering all the writing and interpretation of the photography of Walker Evans, Mr. Barnes summed up Evan’s life and work in one wonderful sentence.

See https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/evan/hd_evan.htm

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