Walker EVANS (1903-1975)

CONSTRAINT : choice of subject (recangular plane) is illustration of technical approach.

INVENTION : objectivity (1930s). A form of documentary, but not “human documentary” (though Evans did some of that too), and more formal still than the Neue Sachlichkeit ϕ of RENGER-PATZSCH (1928). The tripod is positioned on the line that extends at a right angle from the centre of the base of the subject being photographed (a façade) at such a distance that the 4 sides of the subject just fit into the frame. The front element (lens) is raised only so far as to align the verticals of the subject parallel to those of the negative.

WORKS : reproduced in American Photographs (1938) are : “Main Street of County Seat, Alabama, 1936” ; “New Orleans Boarding House, 1935” and umpteen churches and warehouses.