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Roy DeCarava

Couple Dancing, New York
1956/printed 1982
gelatin silver print
14 x 10 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, purchase made possible by Henry L. Milmore

Couple Dancing, New York demonstrates the dramatic lighting and sensuous tonalities that earned Roy DeCarava the title “poet of light.” DeCarava has said that he relies upon “the infinite gradations of black and white.” Subtle reflections off the woman's bare arm, earring, and dress hem convey the measured steps of their dance. Though faceless and anonymous, the couple's intimate bond comes across clearly through DeCarava's masterful evocation of touch and tone.