Friday, September 03, 2010


Lumen. Photographs by Carlo Valsecchi. Edited by Musee de l'Elysee. Foreword by William E. Ewing, essay by Nathalie Herschdorfer. Hatje Cantz, 2009. 192 pp., 150 colour illustrations, 11¾x10½". Images from photo-eye.

'Lumen' - a beautiful book of expressive large-format photographs of an industrial landscape by Italian photographer Carlo Valsecchi - is described as:

"From monumental industrial architecture to the interiors of strange machines, from night views of cities flickering like active volcanoes to gleaming high-tech laboratories, from neat boxes of fruits or vegetables to the sprawling agro-industrial farmlands of Argentina - Carlo Valsecchi alternates between the near and the far, between precise figuration and poetic abstraction.

His large-format photographs, devoid of human presence, often take unexpected vantage points, which, while initially destabilizing our perception, then encourage us to engage more actively with the image.

Although much of his work is clearly within the strong tradition of the industrial landscape developed by the German school (Becher, Gursky), Valsecchi has found his own expressive register, tending toward the monochrome.

The special qualities of the images have to do with the extremely soft palette and nuanced chromatic scale, features that sharply differentiate his photographs from mainstream color practice.

Painterly in its sensibility, Valsecchi's work evokes the pictorial grandeur of American Abstract Expressionism."

You can view more images and an excerpt from the book here.

Quote publisher's description.

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