new-york

Jim Dow

Robert Friedus Gallery

In his earlier work Jim Dow photographed various forms of vernacular architecture, including county courthouses, interiors of bars and poolhalls, soccer stadiums in England, and minor-league baseball parks. Dow was pursuing the sort of photographic archaeological investigation of folk culture practiced by Walker Evans and a slew of followers. In this now-familiar approach typical but heavily connoted artifacts and scenes of contemporary life are presented in as neutral a fashion as possible, with the photographer typically using a large-format camera and great depth of field. Seldom is work of this kind concerned with genuine archaeological research; texts, beyond minimal captions, are almost never included. (Evans’ and James Agee’s resplendent collaboration, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—perhaps the archetypal embodiment of this kind of work—is a rare and striking exception.)

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