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date: 07 December 2019

Gowin, Emmetlocked

(b Danville, WV, Dec 22, 1941).
  • Mary Christian

Extract

(b Danville, WV, Dec 22, 1941).

American photographer. He was a student of fine arts at Richmond Professional Institute, VA, from 1961 to 1965 and at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied with Harry Callahan from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he was also influenced by Frederick Sommer. Gowin’s deeply religious upbringing played an important role in his work. Most of his photographs from the mid-1960s until the early 1980s focus upon his wife and her family in Danville, VA, transforming them into universal symbols of ritual and family relationships. Many of these are deeply personal and almost religious in the powerful symbols they evoke; in Edith, Danville, Virginia, 1971 (see Gowin, 1976, p. 51) his wife is seen, as if clandestinely, in the privacy of a dark bedroom. His occasional use of a lens that vignettes the image into a circle also evoked ideas of a microcosm of the earth or of tourist photographs taken with an early Kodak camera....

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