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|Lucidity on Fire
by Jerry Saltz
|"Walker Evans," Feb. 1-May 14, 2000, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028.
I love that there's a book on Walker Evans titled The Hungry Eye because the general mood of his show at the Met is one of searching, restless omnivorousness. There's that and the kind of perfection that Evans achieved with such stunning frequency, especially between 1931, when he photographed a curving street on a rainy day in Saratoga Springs, and 1938, when he went underground, into the New York subway, surreptitiously photographing fellow passengers as they sat across from this man with a camera concealed beneath his coat. Evans was the man on the street par excellence, less an artist than a medium who gives himself over to his subjects without ever letting go.
JERRY SALTZ is art critic for the Village Voice, where this article first appeared.