Walker Evans’s (1903-1975) depictions of everyday American life, through representations of its people and objects, have had great impact on following generations of photographers and artists. His work has in recent years received new recognition and interest from the art scene, and it is constantly an important reference for all those working with photography.
His photographic style was economical and dry. Evans’ photographs were an unpretentious attempt to present the beholder with precise and detailed, not to mention straightforward, depictions of everyday motifs such as interiors, exhibition windows, advertisement posters, and architecture. His work constitutes a personal interpretation of an American documentary tradition, with a sensibility giving the images an enigmatic poesy and complexity.
Evans’s last great exhibition before his death was in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), in 1971. The exhibition was curated by John Szarkowski, in collaboration with Evans, and comprised of 202 small silver-gelatin prints and 13 large photo-murals (large prints mounted on panel).
All the photographs in the exhibition are motifs from the late 1920s to the 1960s, with an emphasis on the 1930s-40s, made by Evans for the 1971 MoMA exhibition. The photographs are doubles from MoMA’s collection, which over the last year have been bought from the museum and mediated to Scandinavian private collections.
The exhibition presents excellent and well-known examples of many aspects of Evans’s oeuvre as an innovative documentary photographer and artist. It is the first extensive presentation of his works in Norway. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Galleri Riis. All works were purchased from MoMA and are owned by Peder Lund.