Peer into a Gregory Crewdson tableau and at once and you’re caught, uninvited, in someone else’s silent small-town doldrums. But step away from the eerie and inexplicable scenes and you’ll find a set equipped with actors, production crews, and most importantly, the theatrical lighting that places Crewdon’s style somewhere in between David Lynch and Edward Hopper (and not without a nod to Alfred Hitchcock). And on the subject of great names and their heightened and mysterious American landscapes, one can’t forget O. Winston Link, the photographer Crewdson caught wind of in the ’80s, whose dramatic nighttime photographs captured the railway lines of the ’50s as their white steam escaped across a black sky.
When Crewdson and Link were placed side by side in a recent exhibition at Danziger Gallery, the show was titled “American Darkness”—because no other name would quite capture the tense and theatric, dark and rootless nature of the pair. “It’s about the experience of light and its dramatic effect,” Crewdson said of his favorite Link photograph. “And how this lighting suggests a narrative. It’s visual [storytelling], the type of [storytelling] that always reminded me of a scene from an Orson Welles film or a Hitchcock film.”
Learn more about “American Darkness,” among past, current, and upcoming exhibitions at Danziger Gallery: Explore Danziger Gallery on Artsy.