The exhibition, which comes to Palazzo Magnani in a national premiere following European showings in Arles and Brussels, investigates a lesser known aspect of the work of Walker Evans, focussing on the images he published in widely circulated American magazines starting in 1929.
Over the course of this experience, Evans developed a method and a poetics based on a close connection and a complementary relationship between images and texts. Differently from many photographers, in fact, Walker Evans did not work for the magazines only as a photographer, but followed the entire process leading up to the publication of his images. He himself often chose the theme, wrote the texts, selected the photos, and worked on the page layout. During the course of almost four decades, Evans used the pages of popular magazines to produce a “counter-comment” to American society and its values. While the mass media lingered over the cult of celebrity, Evans photographed anonymous citizens, creating direct and frontal images of the conditions of the country, in an austere style and with a clarity and simplicity free from any form of romantic idealism.
The exhibition includes numerous original magazines and period prints, along with various documents and materials that illustrate this unusual aspect of the work of Walker Evans, a pioneer of modern photography, editing, writing, and graphic design.
Picture: Walker Evans, [Woman Pedestrian, Detroit, for Labor Anonymous, Fortune, Detroit, 1946], Fondation A Stichting collection, Brussels. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York