1975 marked the turning point in American landscape photography with the exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape”. Reduced to their essential topographic state, the photographs stripped away aesthetic mystique and forced people to confront the cold, hard facts of urban and suburban reality, while offering an either objective or critical perspective of the subject in the work. The exhibition had an incredible effect on photography as a whole, influencing generations of artists in both the United States and Europe.
At the same time, Bevan Davies had been working in New York, taking large-format black-and-white architectural views of downtown New York. Davies, who had studied photography with Bruce Davidson at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s, went on to be mentored by none other than Diane Arbus later in the decade. After a period of work as a street photographer, documenting the odd and unusual misfits who roamed the city’s streets heavily in those days, Davies turned his eye to the buildings themselves.
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Photo: Bevan Davies, 652 Broadway, New York, 1976, vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print, paper 16 x 20" (40.6 x 25.8 cm) signed, titled & dated in pencil on verso