Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walker Evans Recalled

Photographer Dorothea Lange (when asked her opinion of American photographer Walker Evans, who, like her, had been employed by the Farm Security Administration during the Depression) in an Archives of American Art oral history interview, conducted by Richard K. Doud, on May 22, 1964—

A problem child. But I don’t know whether he’s a problem child to himself. But when anyone asks me what I know about someone who’s an artist, I can only answer, “Please, look at his work.” Because if you want to know anything about a person, doesn’t his work tell you? I mean, how can you know more? Walker Evans is, in my opinion, an extraordinary man. He had extraordinary eyesight. There is always a little twist in it somewhere, there is a bitterness, not always, I take that word out, and there is an edge, a bitter edge to Walker. That I sensed; and it’s pleasurable to me. I like that bitter edge. He seemed very straight and very true. I don’t care if he’s a son-of- a-gun.