19. Walker Evans, Sidewalk and Shopfront, New Orleans, 1935; gelatin silver print; collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Willard Van Dyke; © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Take a Walk(er) on the Wild Side: Evans Exhibit at SFMOMA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is the exclusive United States venue for the retrospective exhibition Walker Evans, on view now through February 4, 2018.

As one of the preeminent photographers of the 20th century, Walker Evans’ 50-year body of work documents and distills the essence of life in America, leaving a legacy that continues to influence generations of contemporary photographers and artists.

The exhibition is staged in all galleries comprising the museum’s Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest space dedicated to the exhibition, study and interpretation of photography at any art museum in the United States.

“Conceived as a complete retrospective of Evans’ work, this exhibition highlights the photographer’s fascination with American popular culture, or vernacular,” explained Clément Chéroux, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA. “Evans was intrigued by the vernacular as both a subject and a method. By elevating it to the rank of art, he created a unique body of work celebrating the beauty of everyday life.”

While Evans published in the short-lived avant-garde magazine Alhambra, he was a also a regular contributor to the legendary business magazine Fortune.

Chéroux told Cultural Currents in an interview that this should not be surprising: “Evans did not have any politics except social justice,” he said. “Fortune was a beautiful platform for his work, and permitted him to reach a broader audience.”