Rudy Burckhardt

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The New York School poets made a big deal about art and artists, but there was only one photographer they abducted: Rudy Burckhardt. […] When the pictures started coming, they revealed a syncopated geometry slightly off the city grid. An early portrait of Denby on the roof of their building appears to have been taken from midair, the curious combination of perspective and flattened plane making the pedestrians below look at once perfectly normal and unsettlingly small. Subliminal illusions and affection for the askew lighten Burckhardt’s work from his earliest New York pieces, which highlight architectural details of doorways and uneven sidewalks. Burckhardt politely ignored the themes then dominating photography: his work wasn’t social commentary, and it wasn’t simply pretty, either.

Jordan Davis on Rudy Burckhardt (Poetry Foundation)


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