Picks and Pans Review: Photographs

updated 04/23/1979 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/23/1979 01:00AM

by Bruce Davidson

The author's introduction to his work is stunningly candid and helps to explain the selection of mostly harsh photos. A sample: "During the next year, I photographed the Metropolitan Opera, fell in love with a young ballerina, went to a Caribbean resort hotel and made love to a woman old enough to be my mother, then returned to an exclusive country school and had an affair with a student..." He worked for all the big magazines during the late '50s and '60s—LIFE, Vogue, Holiday—-but he became increasingly at odds with showbizzy, high-life assignments and turned to people like the subjects in this book—a dwarf, a street gang, the elderly, Southern blacks, slum dwellers. His pictures do not have the unifying vision of an artist; a viewer doesn't look at one of them and see instantly that it is "a Bruce Davidson." But this is a demonstration of photojournalism at its best—a vivid depiction of the human condition as one skilled observer finds it. (Agrinde/Summit, $30 hardcover, $17.50 paperback)

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