The Easel

Archives: Aperture

19th October 2021

A new look at Walker Evans

Evans’ crystal clear, elegant images helped establish documentary photography. Who was the person behind these “deadpan, yet astonishing” pictures? He portrayed his subjects with dignity, but seems not to have harboured any activism – one critic notes he had little of “either politics or empathy”. His interest was just the aesthetics of buildings and people. Yet that subject matter was enough for him to help “define the contours of a uniquely American culture”.