Dave Heath: Dialogues with Solitudes


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ISBN: 9783958295438 Category:

Francesco Zanot


Dialogues with Solitudes follows Dave Heath’s radical 1965 book A Dialogue with Solitude, which captures the restless zeitgeist of the sixties like a protest song. Heath depicts the fractures and unease in post-war America’s society of abundance, before the rise of the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War. Rather than focusing on specific scenes or events, Heath photographs lived, intimate experience: tension in city streets, close constrained bodies and isolated individuals who have seemingly lost their sense of self.

Influenced by W. Eugene Smith and photographers of the Chicago School including Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, Heath expresses above all his presence in the world by recognizing an alter ego in others absorbed in inner torment. To transform this experience into book form, Heath was guided primarily by concerns of sequence, particularly in Robert Frank’s The Americans and Walker Evans’ American Photographs. In Heath’s words: “For me, the act of photographing is no more than making … diaristic notes that come out of engagement with the world. It is in my sequencing of photographs that I create poetic structure, a connective linkage, not chronological or narrative in development such as a photo-essay, but emotional in development.”

“You never do anything logically, at least some artists don’t, but only out of inner necessity.” Dave Heath

Additional information

Weight 1081 g
Dimensions 20.9 x 26.1 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 1 March 2019
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Francesco Zanot
Dimensions 20.9 x 26.1 cm
Weight 1081 g
Dave Heath (1931–2016) took up photography in the late 1940s, inspired by photo-essays in Life magazine. Though largely self-taught, he studied briefly at the Philadelphia College of Art and at the Chicago Institute of Design. In 1957 Heath moved to New York and joined the Greenwich Village Camera Club, associating with Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Weegee. Heath received the Guggenheim Grant in 1963 and ’64, and in 1970 was invited to teach photography at Toronto’s Ryerson University where he worked until 1997. Heath’s photos are held in collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago; his books include A Dialogue With Solitude (1965), Korea Photographs: 1953–1954 (2004), and Washington Square (2016).