new-york

Bill Brandt

Marlborough | Midtown

Bill Brandt’s photography is as dramatically prosy as George Orwell’s prose is dramatically photographic. The artistic testimony of both men accuses a dark century for England and her people, a time of soot, storms, wars, blackouts, and shadowed recreations. Brandt could have been playing Evans to Orwell’s Agee on The Road to Wigan Pier when he pictured coal miners and coal gatherers, some returned black-faced to the surface where the sun pastes itself as blindingly on their bodies as it must in their eyes. As for Orwell, social contrasts for Brandt are as extreme as the stark contrast of the blacks and whites in his photos. Economic recession runs as deep as the long, damp perspectives of his shots down lonesome London alleys, along canals, or across rooftops.

Practically every outdoor shot in the Brandt show features dark, low-hanging clouds, fogs, and grim smoky sectors of sky. His

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