New York

Emmet Gowin

Light Gallery

In none but two of Emmet Gowin’s photographs of his wife, Edith, which make up a substantial part of his work, does the photographer allow her to smile, converse, laugh, grimace, weep or otherwise express any human emotion but unbudgeable seriousness. She is not always patient with this, and more than once annoyance and disdain creep into her hard composure. Nor would Gowin have it seem that she ever really gets out of her nightgown except to pose nude for him. The other people in Gowin’s pictures, mostly relatives, are just about as sober, except for a few whom he permits the beginning of an easygoing camera grin. Moreover, in very few of Gowin’s landscapes is there ever much sunlight, though there are more than enough gray skies, leafless trees and barren farm buildings.

Gowin practices a kind of photographic mannerism which extends from the work of a number of photographers—Wynn Bullock,

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