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Baudelairean

Mary Hawthorne: The Luck of Walker Evans

5 February 2004
Walker​ Evans 
by James Mellow.
Perseus, 654 pp., £15.99, February 2002, 1 903985 13 7
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... The early photographs of WalkerEvans are now so familiar that it is easy to forget how radically different they seemed at the time, and to take their subtle influence for granted, or, now that the collective longing appears to be for ...

Diary

Mary Hawthorne: Remembering Joseph Mitchell

1 August 1996
... those years he had written nothing at all. The piece was published in 1964; after that, Mitchell submitted nothing further for publication. One day last summer, when I was working on a piece about WalkerEvans, I came in to work and saw Mitchell ahead of me, walking lightly towards the elevators. I had read somewhere that he had known Evans, and without thinking too much about it, I broached the ...

Frognal Days

Zachary Leader: Files on the Fifties

4 June 1998
Previous Convictions: A Journey Through the Fifties 
by Nora Sayre.
Rutgers, 464 pp., £27.95, April 1997, 0 8135 2231 5
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... American intellectual life in the Fifties, part memoir, part documentary record, begins with her writer parents and the people she met in their living room in New York: Edmund Wilson, James Thurber, WalkerEvans, James M. Cain, Nunnally Johnson, S.J. Perelman, Dawn Powell, Joseph Mitchell and John O’Hara. Many of these celebrated figures, artists and authors approaching fifty at the start of the ...

At the Hayward

Hal Foster: Ed Ruscha

19 November 2009
... Los Angeles, often taken to be its Pop capital, and he is fully aware of the ‘Okie’ tradition in this passage. ‘In the early 1950s,’ he once remarked, ‘I was awakened by the photographs of WalkerEvans and the movies of John Ford, especially Grapes of Wrath, where the poor “Okies” (mostly farmers whose land dried up) go to California with mattresses on their cars rather than stay in ...

At the Whitney

Hal Foster: Ed Ruscha’s Hollywood Sublime

2 September 2004
... In the early 1950s I was awakened by the photographs of WalkerEvans and the movies of John Ford, especially Grapes of Wrath where the poor ‘Okies’ go to California with mattresses on their cars rather than stay in Oklahoma and starve. I faced a sort of black-and ...

At the Nailya Alexander Gallery

August Kleinzahler: George Tice

11 October 2018
... matter and forms. They share a realism grounded in silence. Tice’s photographs can be as pictorial as early Steiglitz – Houseboat, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1979 – or as starkly documentary as WalkerEvans: National Barbershop, Bay Circle, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1990. He is difficult to characterise. There is a formal quality to his work. The photographs are very much composed. There’s almost ...

At Tate Modern

T.J. Clark: Gabriel Orozco

17 February 2011
... the intricate and symmetrical and carefully casual. He likes the random and momentary in the world, but never the discomposed. (He has learned nothing from the line of photography stemming from WalkerEvans.) There was no single object in the exhibition in which I thought I sensed something else besides an intuition of order or balance: something more difficult and unmanageable, something shied ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’

6 February 2014
... Herbert Huncke plus any given Beat, all of the New York School, Bob Dylan, Nico, John Cale, Lou Reed, Malcolm McLaren, Patti Smith and Mapplethorpe, William Eggleston, and … hang on, here’s WalkerEvans. And there, not exactly flitting past, goes the bulky shadow of Henry James. Tippins has embarked on a compendious venture, as the index suggests. I search in vain under B for a word of my old ...

Neutered Valentines

David Bromwich: James Agee

7 September 2006
‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, ‘A Death in the Family’, Shorter Fiction 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 818 pp., $35, October 2005, 1 931082 81 2
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Film Writing and Selected Journalism 
by James Agee.
Library of America, 748 pp., $40, October 2005, 1 931082 82 0
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Brooklyn Is 
by James Agee.
Fordham, 64 pp., $16.95, October 2005, 0 8232 2492 9
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... articles on the Tennessee Valley Authority, the marketing of the commercial orchid, and other topics of interest to literate businessmen. Sent on assignment to Alabama in 1936, with the photographer WalkerEvans, to do an article on tenant farmers, he returned with unorganised pages and sections of finished prose, prose-in-the-rough, poetry, extended captions and descriptions, none of them reducible to ...

Mistrial

Michael Davie

6 June 1985
The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Case and the Framing of Richard Hauptmann 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 438 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 00 217060 4
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... of Richard Hauptmann’. Mr Kennedy is the author of three previous books about miscarriages of justice: after 10 Rillington Place (1961) the Queen granted a free pardon to the corpse of Timothy Evans, who had been hanged for a murder he did not commit; A Presumption of Innocence (1976) brought the Queen into action again to pardon Patrick Meehan for a murder he did not commit; Wicked beyond ...

What’s the problem with critical art?

Hal Foster: Rancière’s Aesthetics

9 October 2013
Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art 
by Jacques Rancière, translated by Zakir Paul.
Verso, 272 pp., £20, June 2013, 978 1 78168 089 6
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... model is Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis). Although he moves from the publication of The History of Ancient Art by Winckelmann in 1764 to the appearance of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and WalkerEvans in 1941, his focus is on the arts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, that is, on high modernism. His range of interests is impressive: Rancière delves into the poetry of Whitman, the ...

In Transit

Geoff Dyer: Garry Winogrand

20 June 2013
... not wearing glasses for fun, he needs them, so we are witnessing someone in the process of having their vision impaired or disrupted. Which is actually how quite a few people (including, ironically, WalkerEvans, the photographer Winogrand admired above all others and whose approval he presumably craved) felt about Winogrand’s work. The pictures didn’t look right, they were all skewed and lurchy ...

Princess Diane

Penny Boumelha

21 February 1985
Diane Arbus: A Biography 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Heinemann, 367 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 0 434 08150 7
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Inside the Onion 
by Howard Nemerov.
Chicago, 63 pp., £8.45, April 1984, 0 226 57244 7
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... lists of names: ‘Opening night of the show it seemed as if everybody she knew in the art and photography worlds was there, including Emile de Antonio, Henry Geldzahler, Andy Warhol, Robert Frank, WalkerEvans, Tom Hess, Lisette Model, Richard Avedon, Marvin Israel, and the pop art collectors Robert and Ethel Scull.’ Bosworth’s concentration on the sex-and-society aspect of her subject’s life ...
24 May 1990
Innumeracy 
by John Allen Paulos.
135 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 670 83008 9
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The Culture of Print 
edited by Roger Chartier.
351 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 7456 0575 3
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Symbols of Ideal Life 
by Maren Stange.
Cambridge, 190 pp., £25, June 1989, 0 521 32441 6
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TheLines of My Hand 
by Robert Frank.
£30, September 1989, 0 436 16256 3
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... in the last decades of the 19th century; Lewis Hine, who recorded the conditions of workers (most memorably, child workers) in turn-of-the century mills and factories; Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, WalkerEvans and others who worked for the Farm Security Administration in the Thirties. The documentary ideal suggests that photographs have single interpretations. From Brady’s Civil War pictures to ...

Mad Monk

Jenny Diski: Not going to the movies

6 February 2003
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film 
by David Thomson.
Little, Brown, 963 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 316 85905 2
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Nobody’s Perfect: Writings from the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Anthony Lane.
Picador, 752 pp., £15.99, November 2002, 0 330 49182 2
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Paris Hollywood: Writings on Film 
by Peter Wollen.
Verso, 314 pp., £13, December 2002, 1 85984 391 3
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... a third of Lane’s book consists of literary essays, and another third is devoted to profiles of a few directors mostly long gone and others not notable for their movie credits – Karl Lagerfeld, WalkerEvans, Ernest Shackleton and Lego. In Thomson’s view film ought to be enough to detain a film-loving writer, but it isn’t. Perhaps Lane is merely keeping his options open and, who knows, doesn ...

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