"Tom ARNDT, U.S. photographer from Minneapolis, deep in the great tradition of American documentary photography that once began with Walker EVANS, has been drawing a sociological and poetic portrait of his country for over fifty years. For his first monograph, published in French and English, he opened his archives. Through about a hundred images, half a century of American history is told in a ramble that runs like a road movie. A casual and familiar America, whose symbols are now part of popular culture.
Each of his black-and-white photographs in the photo book 'American Reflections' tells a story, capturing fragments of the lives of middle-class men and women, the farming community, the dreary suburbs or the hectic streets of the major metropolises of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and his hometown of Minneapolis. Working exclusively with film footage, Tom ARNDT captures in velvety B&W images a vernacular America, with its poor neighborhoods, diner counters, supermarket windows, trucks and Cadillacs.... Snapshots of life rendered with empathy and a great science of framing. Illuminated signs, reflections in shop windows (a theme that runs throughout the photographer's work), silhouettes taken from life are all details that structure the photographic image. Light and architectural lines compose powerful images, icons of a timeless America. From the Farmers series of Dakota to the streets of New York with its children and revellers, he depicts loneliness, wandering, boredom, everyday life, the simplicity and harshness of the world.
Essays by Sarah Meister, former head of the photography department at MoMA in New York, and Yasufumi Nakamori, senior curator at Tate Modern in London, situate Arndt's photographic work within the history of American photography." (freely translated, slightly adapted text, for the original: © Atelier EXB, 2022)