As most collectors likely know, the early part of Gowin's career was focused on intimate and personal portraits of his wife Edith, their children and extended family, and rural life in Virginia and abroad. These are graceful pictures, full of subtle movements and behaviors that give us clues to the relationships between the people. There are images of the family on Christmas morning, surrounded by a mountain of discarded wrapping paper, Edith sitting by a window or behind a screen door, Edith with her aging grandparents, or Edith nude in the kitchen. Like Harry Callahan's extended portrait of his wife Eleanor, Gowin has made dozens of pictures of Edith, telling a much broader and more complicated story than can be captured in a single frame. She is the center, around which the narrative of the rest of the family revolves. Other pictures in the series capture moments of rural life and country living (at home and in Europe) and twisting trees and branches outside their home, often printed in circular form on square paper, with the dark edges of black intruding from the corners, creating small distortions and a claustrophobic tunnel vision.
The reprint of the book is available from the gallery for $60.