TABLE OF CONTENTS

SIGNS OF LIGHT: WALKER EVANS' AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHS

TOWARD THE END OF OUR CENTURY Walker Evans’ Images, Though Long Canonized, Jumpstart Our Moral Imagination. In Many Of Its Liabilities his America has not changed fundamentally, for all that the look of it has altered since the publication of his American Photographs by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1938, slightly over 50 years ago.1 Nothing dates a photograph more specifically, aside from the lettering that it may frame, than the cars that it depicts. Evans’ are inevitably of their bygone period. But we are still a chauvinist society, still a violent and a wasteful one, and still hopelessly racist. On the other hand, we have lost any resistant temper, any unified drive that would combat these social pathologies, so that our emotional horizon has been transformed. Today’s affluence would be unknown in Evans’ images, but so, too, would be our listless sense of the national future

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.