From the Bechers' dilapidated industrial architecture to Ed Ruscha's parking lots and gas stations, much Conceptual art has dealt with issues of architecture and public space. Graham is most famous for his seminal photoessay "Homes for America" (Arts Magazine, 1967), in which the artist related the serial, repetitive patterns and primary structures of Minimalism to the postwar suburban tract housing of Levittown and Fair Lawn-architectural emblems of alienation and social anomie. Like Ruscha, Graham cultivated the look of the amateur in his technique in order to distinguish his images from what he saw as the pretensions of art photography. In the 1970s Graham became increasingly interested in the reflective glass skyscraper as the ur-form of monolithic corporate architecture. "The glass' transparency," the artist wrote the year after making this photograph, "not only falsely objectifies reality, but it is a paradoxical camouflage; for while the actual function of a corporation may be to concentrate its self-contained power and control by secreting information, its architectural façade gives the illusion of absolute openness."
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Titled, signed, and dated by artist in ink on mount, recto BL, BR beneath image
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Photographs from the Collection VII," July 15, 2003–December 14, 2003.