PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2023

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Page 127 of 179

in the mine. And I knew he was trying to get that out of me." I mean, that's amazing. To be able to articulate that six years later. And in such a poetic way. That was the great gift of being exposed to hard-working people. CA: Over 40 years later, what is your reaction to the images from the Amon Carter show, "Avedon's West"? LW: I've seen it twice in one month. Each of these times, they've just knocked me out. I think they are incredible. They're so strong and so moving, emotionally powerful. I am in awe of what he accomplished. CA: Maybe that's why the series hasn't always been shown. Because of the humanity — it's not the myth of the West. LW: That's right. It's not the myth of the West. The myth of the West was John Wayne and John Ford, and Gary Cooper; but this is the West. CA: Did you and Richard Avedon stay in touch? LW: Yes. We stayed in contact throughout his life. I was with him when he died in San Antonio in 2004. He asked me to work for him on what became his final project, which he was shooting for The New Yorker, photographing people involved in democracy in America. His subjects were activists, political leaders, people who were victims of political positions, burn victims being shipped back from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He died from a stroke. The morning of the day he died, we were to photograph a woman at 12:30 pm. He was disoriented and confused. I said, "We have to go to the doctor." He said, "No, I don't want to go. We'll go to the doctor after I do this." Then he had a brain aneurysm. That last project was published posthumously in The New Yorker. CA: What's next. LW: I'm working on a project for the Meadows Museum in Dallas on Mexico. Opening February 2025. It's 30 years of photographs taken in Mexico, all in large- format color. And The Writers photographs are going to Chicago. They'll be shown in October at Lake Forest College. Then in 2025, they're going to the Houston Public Library Downtown. That will be a big show — 150 photographs. "Avedon's West," at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, through October 1, For more with Laura Wilson, the conversation continues at From top: Richard Avedon's Charlene Van Tighem, physical therapist, Augusta, Montana, 6/23/83. Laura Wilson and Richard Avedon, Jordan, Montana, 1985. RUEDI HOFMANN AMON CARTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, FORT WORTH; © THE RICHARD AVEDON FOUNDATION 126

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