miércoles, 11 de abril de 2012

Fotógrafos en La Habana: Walker Evans. 1933







Walker Evans is one of the photographers most responsible for the way we now imagine American life in the 1930s. His distinctive photographic style, which he declared "transcendent documentary," was nurtured by New York in the late 1920s, but it was fully formed by his experience in another country—Cuba—in 1933. 


In the spring of that year, Evans was asked by publisher J. B. Lippincott to produce a body of work about Cuba to accompany a book by the radical journalist Carleton Beals. This book, The Crime of Cuba , would be a scathing indictment of the then-current regime of Cuban President Gerardo Machado. He came into office in 1925, supported by the U.S. government, but became more dictatorial as the full force of the global depression hit Cuba. Evans wrote to a friend that he arrived in May "in the midst of a revolution." After years of civil strife in the country, Machado was forced from office in August, less than two months after Evans departed.
Small Restaurant, Havana / Walker Evans
Small Restaurant, Havana, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 
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Evans made substantial strides in his photographic practice during the weeks in Cuba. There he worked with different format cameras, creating both close-up and wide, inclusive compositions, such as the view of the Plaza del Vapor in Havana shown above, that he could combine in intense sequences to best communicate his response to the poverty, the ferment, and the beauty of his environment.


The photographs that Evans made in Cuba, including the view of a Havana restaurant at right, reveal the influence of the French photographer Eugène Atget. Evans wrote that Atget's photographs of old Paris demonstrated "a lyrical understanding of the street, trained observation to it, special feeling for patina, eye for revealing detail."

Parque Central II, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.956.166. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
















Building Façade, Havana, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.956.236. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


<em>Plaza del Vapor, Market Area, Havana</em>, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Plaza del Vapor, Market Area, Havana, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.956.278. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


<em>Colonnade Shop, Havana</em>, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Colonnade Shop, Havana, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.956.266. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

<em>Cuban Children</em>, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cuban Children, Walker Evans, 1933. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XM.956.144. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Walker Evans
Havana, 1933
[From the Metropolitan Museum of Art]
Havana, 1933

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