Thursday, August 06, 2009

O. Winston Link

From my review of photos by the late O. Winston Link in “Documenting a Moment, a Place, an Era” at Providence’s Bert Gallery:
It wasn't until the 1970s that O. Winston Link got noticed by the art world. The New Yorker had been a professional photographer since the 1930s, shooting publicity shots for an advertising firm before World War II and doing freelance commercial photography afterward. It was a decent living, but it was anonymous work.

At Bert Gallery, you can see the photos that finally grabbed people's attention. "Documenting a Moment, a Place, an Era" features a handful of Link's astonishing 1950s nighttime shots of the last steam trains on the Norfolk and Western Railway across Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. He spent hours arranging people and (usually moving) trains in each shot, and then elaborately lighting the scene. He composed with his flash bulbs, illuminating just the elements he wished to include and leaving the rest in darkness as he fashioned seductive nighttime dramas.
Read the rest here.

“Documenting a Moment, a Place, an Era: O. Winston Link: Louisiana, 1937; Carmel Vitullo: Rhode Island, 1950-1960” Bert Gallery, 540 South Water St., Providence, July 14 to Aug. 28, 2009.

Pictured from top to bottom: O. Winston Link, “Hot shot eastbound,” copyright O. Winston Link Trust; “Luncheon with Long Gloves and Menu” “The Long Walk”; “Group Portrait”; “Gentleman Start Your Engines”; “Columns and Hats”; “Catch of the Day”; “Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet, Bayou Little Caillou, Houma, Louisiana, August 3, 1937”; and “Old Maude Bows to the Virginia Creeper, Green Cove, Virginia, October 1956,” copyright O. Winston Link Trust. O. Winston Link’s Louisiana images are from the Louisiana Link project (Louisiana Link L.L.C, and copyright of Winston Conway Link.


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