The publication Walker Evans & Dan Graham accompanied the exhibition Walker Evans & Dan Graham that took place at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (29.08.1992 – 11.10.1992), the museum Boijmans van Beuningen (29.08.1992 – 11.10.1992), the Direction des Musées de Marseille (06.11.1992 – 10.01.1993), the Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster (31.01.1993 – 21.03.1993) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (17.12.1993 – 17.03.1994).

The exhibition Walker Evans & Dan Graham had been at home in Rotterdam, Marseille, Münster and New York. At the time, those cities were frequently confronted by new cultural developments; especially those architectural developments related to the reconstruction and the new layouts of old city centers, and, the rapid expansions which occur on the edges of the cities. To this end one can also make an appeal to the history and development of the architecture that exists in front of the cameras of Walker Evans and Dan Graham.

The idea for the exhibition came out of the inspiring as well as fruitful discussions between the institutions’ directors and the photography and art historian Jean-François Chevrier. As Jean-François Chevrier remarked in an essay, “Whether considered as a matter for specialists or, on the contrary, as one of the forms of ‘contemporary art’, photography today occupies an ambiguous place between the fine arts and the media.” Naturally, Jean-François Chevrier was invited to select, arrange and comment on the works that were included in this exhibition, as well as in the publication.

With the exhibition, as well as with the book, an effort was made to clarify the relationship between the oeuvres of the American artists Walker Evans (1903-1975) and Dan Graham (1942) and to compare two different visions – each a product of its time – on the American urban environment, as well as to shed light into the history of photography and the visual arts.

Next to the opinion of Jean-François Chevrier, the publication also includes the critical views of the art historian Benjamin H.D. Buchloh and the photographer and critic Allan Sekula. Benjamin H.D. Buchloh’s essay “Moments of History in the Work of Dan Graham”, which was previously included as an afterword, in the by now practically unfindable publication, Dan Graham Articles, published in 1977 by the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, still prevails as one of the most rich and, at the same time, precise discussions on the oeuvre of Dan Graham. The same may be said for the detailed and often provocative essays that Allan Sekula has published over the past ten years on specific themes from the ‘independent art’ of photography.