Walker Evans the Magazine Work (英語) ハードカバー – 2014/10/31
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Walker Evans (1903-1975) was one of the most important and influential artists of the twentieth century, producing a body of photographs that continues to shape our understanding of the modern era. He worked in every genre and format, in black & white and colour, but two passions were constant: literature and the printed page.
While his photographic books are among the most influential in the medium's history, Evans's more ephemeral pages remain largely unknown. From small avant-garde publications to mainstream titles such as Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Architectural Forum, Life and Fortune he produced innovative and independent journalism, often setting his own assignments, editing, writing and designing his pages. Presenting many of his photo-essays in their entirety Walker Evans: the Magazine Work assembles the unwritten history of this work, allowing us to see how he protected his autonomy, earned a living and found audiences far beyond the museum and gallery.
In 1945 Evans was appointed as the only staff photographer for the magazine and in 1948 he was named as Special Photographic Editor. This seems to have been a unique position with the publication because it allowed him to determine his own assignments, write the copy and get closely involved with the layout of his photos. There are pages of Fortune spreads reproduced here that show elegant designs with beautiful pictures on subjects that seem far removed from the business and finance aspect of the magazine, for example: the rural train depot; the architecture of the Brooklyn waterfront; American masonry; railroad logos painted on freight cars; the mills of New England. They all, of course, reflect Walker Evans interest in the vernacular landscape and other highly visual subjects. Magazine work is featured from Vogue, Flair, Harper's Bazaar, Life and other titles. There is an Appendix with seven published essays written by him between 1931 and 1960, all relate to photography.
A lovely book though I was slightly disappointed with the production (so four stars). It is unfortunate that the magazine pages with the photos, originally white paper, have been reproduced as a light ochre which gives the mono and color photos a rather subdued appearance. There are alternatives to this printing style, in 'Walker Evans at work' (Hill and Thompson, 1982) with about twelve spreads from Fortune they just have a thin black line to define the page areas with the photos and text printed in position as the original. Another way would be to print each page in the book with a light color and leave white spaces to define the original spreads then print the photos in this white space. Also the type on the essay pages is rather sloppy, the lines of the two columns per page don't line up horizontally because there is a line and half space between the paragraphs and several columns fall short (easily solved by making the images within the text slightly bigger).
Despite my production comments above there is much to enjoy in this book because Walker Evans took such wonderful photos and this is the first time so much of his magazine work has been revealed.