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Washroom in the Dog Run of Floyd Burroughs' Home, Hale County, Alabama

WALKER EVANS Washroom in the Dog Run of Floyd Burroughs' Home, Hale County, Alabama Gelatin silver print. 1936. Credit and title in an unknown hand in pencil on the verso. 9½ x 73/8in. (24.1 x 18.8cm.)
See: Da Capo, Walker Evans: Photographs for the Farm Security Administration, fig. 261; Thompson, Walker Evans at Work, p. 128; Keller, Walker Evans: The Getty Museum Collection, p. 167, pl. 542; Brix and Mayer, Walker Evans: America, pl. 85; Weaver, The Art of Photography, pl. 308.

Lot Essay

"Evans's work seemed at first almost the antithesis of art: It was puritanically economical, precisely measured, frontal, unemotional, dryly textured, insistently factual, qualities that seemed more appropriate to a bookkeeper's ledger than to art. But in time it became clear that Evans's pictures, however laconic in manner, were immensely rich in expressive content. His work constitutes a personal survey of the interior resources of the American tradition, a survey based on a sensibility that found poetry and complexity where most earlier travelers had only found drab statistics or fairy tales." (John Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs, p. 116.)

Made during his trip with James Agee to document the rural communities in the south, this image, a corner of the home of Floyd Burroughs, describes this place so precisely, we are left knowing its smell, feeling the heat of the day. Evans' ability to reduce even the simplest subjects to their most basic has created an abstract collage of form, light and shadow. Evans organizes the composition, not by arrangement of the parts but by formal investigation through his 8 x 10 inch ground glass, each element so perfectly placed that its success would be lost with the elimination of even the smallest detail.



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