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DOROTHEA LANGE
DOROTHEA LANGE

Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California ("A Missouri farmer, now a migratory farm laborer in California")

Details
DOROTHEA LANGE
Ditched, Stalled and Stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California ("A Missouri farmer, now a migratory farm laborer in California")
Gelatin silver print. 1936.
93/8 x 73/8in. (23.8 x 18.8cm.) Framed.
Literature
Haskell, The American Century, Art and Culture, 1900-1950, p. 249;
See: MacLeish, Land of the Free, pl. 2; The Museum of Modern Art, Dorothea Lange, p. 26; Taylor, Dorothea Lange, Farm Security Administration Photographs: 1935-1939, volume I, cover; Aperture, Dorothea Lange: Photographs of a Lifetime, p. 63 (there dated 1935); Oakland Museum, Dorothea Lange: Archive of an Artist, p. ?; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dorothea Lange: American Photographs, pl. 14.
Exhibited
The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000, Part I, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 23 April - 22 August 1999.
Sale Room Notice
The flaw which appears in the catalogue illustration, a vertical scratch below the subject's left eye, is a printer's error and not in the original work.

Lot Essay

Throughout her extensive career Dorothea Lange photographed many faces. More often than not Lange hoped to use these specific records as a means to effect social change. Some of these faces had eyes which burned indelibily into her camera lens, for others their gaze was averted from Lange, telling their story with the turn of their body, twist of their neck. Here Lange's subject, a migrant farmer stares out into the distance, fingering the truck's steering column, his face drawn and withered with sun, exhaustion and malnourishment. We wonder about the figure at his side, most likely his wife, also gazing out contemplating the road ahead. The ambiguity of Lange's depiction leaves the viewer to tell the farmer's story; feeling his desperation and sense of dislocation. His face details the story of thousands like him uprooted from their homes in search of work and survival.

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