BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 CALSCALE:GREGORIAN PRODID:iCalendar-Ruby VERSION:2.0 BEGIN:VEVENT DESCRIPTION:

O. Winston Link (1915 – 2001) was a commercial photographer and train buff who in the mid 1950s devoted five years of his life to recor ding the last days of steam on the Norfolk and Western railway line.  Photo graphing at night (when the steam appeared white against the black sky) and enlisting both train personnel and locals as supporting cast\, Link produc ed his own quasi-Rockwellian vision of a world that was soon to pass.

\n
\n

Gregory Crewdson is one o f the pioneers of large scale contemporary color photography known for his elaborately staged and lighted tableaux of mysterious small town life.  Lon g seen as one of a group of photographers (along with Jeff Wall and Cindy S herman) whose work was influenced by Link\, Crewdson has openly acknowledge d his admiration for Link and even brought the photographer to Yale\, where he now heads the prestigious MFA Photography program.

\n

Danziger Gal lery has exhibited Link’s work since 1990\, during which time James Danzige r and Gregory Crewdson had often discussed the idea of a two person show\, but a recent acquisition of a large group of Link’s most important images s erved as the catalyst for finally making the show happen.  Comprising 16 of Link’s 16x20 inch black and white photographs and three of Crewdson large scale (60 x 90 inch) color works selected by the artist for their relations hip to Link – the show unites these two important American photographers in a joint show for the first time.

\n

A month before the show\, the gal lery discussed the project with Crewdson:

\n

When did you first become aware of O. Winston Link’s work?
I first b ecame aware of his work when I was an intern at the Daniel Wolf Gallery in the early 80s. And I was immediately struck by it.

\n

What was it about the work that you found interesting?
I th ink even early on I was interested in the intersection between everyday lif e and theatricality.  That’s something that runs through my work. Looking a t the ordinary American landscape but then having it transform through cine matic or heightened liveliness. So I was very interested in his use of ligh ting\, his focus on the American landscape\, and also his obsession with th e train. It was just pure obsession that he spent five years of his life wi thout any pay or support creating his own particular vision of the last day s of steam.

\n

I gather that “Rural Retreat” is your favor ite Winston Link photo. Why is that?
It’s about the exp erience of light and its dramatic effect. And how this lighting suggests a narrative.  It’s visual story telling\, the type of story telling that alwa ys reminded me of a scene from an Orson Welles film or a Hitchcock film. Th e other thing I really respond to in Link’s work generally\, which is somet hing I think is in my work\, is the sense of being in-between places. The n eed to travel\, the need to find a home. It sort of sums up a disconnection or feeling alone within the landscape.  The train exemplifies that for me.

\n

Do you feel a great kinship to Link?
A lot\, but not on a conscious level\, although I know there is a kind o f connection between our work. The most obvious thing we share in common is this use of production. Of course there are differences in method\, he use d strobe and hot lights\, and I use more cinematic lighting\, but I think w hat we have in common is the kind of choreographed use of light which is a very subjective approach to picture making. Lights - light is so important.

\n

Tell me about the title you gave the show “American Da rkness”.
The phrase American Darkness comes from Paul A ttanasio’s 1986 review of “Blue Velvet” in the Washington Post. And I love how the phrase is evocative of nighttime and secrets\, mystery\, and the te nsion between light and darkness.

\n

How did you choose yo ur own images to show along with Link’s work?
I hope I selected pictures that one way or another play off a similar type of iconog raphy. Travel and rootlessness\, an exploration of American small towns\, a nd a sort of loneliness and mystery. In “Railway Children” - there is the o bvious reference to trains\, train tracks\, etc.. And in “RBS Auto” it’s th e view down the street not that different from Link’s “Officer Painter Patr ols Main Street”.  Again that similar sense of emptiness and beauty.

\n< p>I gather that you brought Winston Link to Yale\, what was tha t day like?
My God\, I think that is one of the most me morable days ever! He agreed to come to Yale as long as we picked him up at his home in Westchester where he had this enormous steam engine\, the fron t car of the train\, on his property. His other stipulation was that he wan ted to go to Mory’s\, which is the private Yale Dining Club. And then we ha d this great lunch where he drank three martinis. And then he gave this bea utiful talk.
My most distinct memory of the talk\, was that at one po int he took out the actual recordings he had made of the sound of steam eng ines and played them for the class. And it was such a beautiful moment beca use you felt that he was transported back to his youth and to making the pi ctures. Everyone got very teary when he did that. He also brought all his m aterial\, all his notebooks. It was really incredible.

\n

What did your Yale MFA students make of Link?
They had never seen anyone like him!  The interesting thing about Link is that he ne ver really saw himself as an artist. He was a commercial photographer speci alizing in industrial subjects.  He worked for Alcoa\, Texaco\, B.F. Goodri ch. I always imagined his existence in the 50s to be similar to “Mad Men”\, and then he went on this journey to take pictures of the last steam trains \, purely out of his own obsession. That’s what makes him so influential as an artist. All artists follow their obsession\, and he clearly did that.  He kind of built pictures into existence.  I think that’s what we do with p hotos.

\n
\n

Gregory Crewdson’s photographs exhibited in associat ion with Gagosian Gallery.

\n
DTEND:20130614 DTSTAMP:20140902T215548 DTSTART:20130509 GEO:40.748634;-74.005304 LOCATION:Danziger Projects\,527 West 23rd Street \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:American Darkness \, Gregory Crewdson\, O. Winston Link UID:273075 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR