IN THE AMERICAN WEST by Richard Avedon.
Some of the most powerful portraits that Richard Avedon ever shot were those commissioned by the Amon Carter Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1979. From that time until 1984, Avedon made several trips through the western United States, visiting state fairs, factories, slaughterhouses, ranches and roadside diners in 13 states and 189 towns from Texas to Idaho. The people he chose to photograph—drifters, coal miners, waitresses and factory workers among them—were not the brawny cowboys or rosy-cheeked frontier families of Western lore, but everyday people coping with the often-harsh reality of rural life. Avedon photographed his subjects against a white backdrop, eliminating any reference to landscape, long a staple of Western imagery. He used a large Deardorff view camera with 8-by-10-inch sheets of film, much like cameras used by photographers a century ago. After exposing 17,000 sheets of film photographing more than 750 subjects, the collection was ultimately whittled down to 124 dramatically oversized portraits. The haunting, stark images evoke a sense of the West—bleak, abrasive, shocking—that was quite controversial when the exhibition was first displayed. Here's John Harrison, Lumber Salesman, and His Daughter Melissa, Lewisville, Texas, November 22, 1981.
14.1 x 11 x 1.2 inches