Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saga. The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen.

Saga. The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Photographs by Arno Rafael Minkkinen. Introduction by Alan Lightman. Essay by A.D. Coleman. Afterword by Arthur Danto. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2005. 160 pp., 140 tritone illustrations, 11x12". Limited edition available.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen
is a Finnish-born photographer brought up in the US, where he is now also primarily working.

Minkkinen is known for his black and white abstract pieces 'which juxtapose bodies and landscapes in surprising ways'.

'Saga. The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen' is Arno Rafael Minkkinen's first comprehensive monograph. It was published to accompany a number of exhibitions in the US and Europe, and displays a summation of the photographer's work. It's also been described as giving 'a new meaning to the self-portrait'.

About the limited edition:

250 copies, hand-signed by the artist. Each copy of the limited edition "includes one of five original silver gelatin prints measuring eleven by fourteen inches, printed and hand-signed by [the artist]."

Saturday, February 27, 2010


America. Photographs by Zoe Strauss. Edited by Steve Crist and Zoe Strauss. Ammo Books, 2008. 192 pp., Numerous illustrations., 11x8".

With the book 'America' photographer Zoe Strauss has taken inspiration from Robert Frank's well-known book The Americans.

50 years after the photographs in Frank's book was captured Strauss traveled across the US documenting 'the beauty and struggle of everyday life', depicting her subjects and scenery in formal compositions creating narratives with 'a hopeful quality in adverse conditions.'

Strauss' photographs attemptes to 'shines a light on the often unseen people and places in the United States today' and to show 'the bittersweet beauty of everyday life'.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On the Clouds.

On the Clouds. One Picture Book #26. Photographs by BooMoon Kwon. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2005. 16 pp., 12 four-color illustrations, 5½x12¼". Images from photo-eye.

One Picture Book is an ongoing series of limited edition artists' books published by Nazraeli Press.

The artist is asked to create a book based on one image or series of connected images, from their previous work. The hardcover edition is limited to 500 and contains an original print by the artist.

Korean artist Boomoon Kwon has in 'On the Clouds' created a series of 'high-altitude skyscapes' informed by the closing section of his previous book 'BooMoon'.

Boomoon Kwon is known as one of Korea's greatest contemporary photographers. He's exhibited in Asia, Europe and the US, and his work has been published in book form.

'On the Clouds' includes twelve images, and one original signed print.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nage Libre.

Nage Libre. Photographs by Marc Wendelski. Yellow Now, 2009. 120 pp., 70 color illustrations, 7x8". View more images here.

'Nage Libre' is a book of wonderful, luminous, dreamlike photographs taken by Belgian photographer Marc Wendelski.

I would love to know some more about this photographer, but besides some great work on his website a proper description of his work and this book have been impossible to find.

Click here to read the publisher's very lacking portrayal of this book.

You can view more of Marc Wendelski's work (including more images from 'Nage Libre') here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Essai Pour Une Archéologie Imaginaire.

Essai Pour Une Archéologie Imaginaire. Photographs by Gilbert Fastenaekens. ARP Editions, 2008. 66 pp., 20 two color illustrations., 11x11¾".

Belgian photographer Gilbert Fastenaekens is known primarily for his night-time studies of urban and post-industrial landscapes.

In 'Essai Pour Une Archéologie Imaginaire' - meaning 'A Test for Imaginary Archeology', the most magical of titles I think - he's continued this work, but focusing on the industrial site of Lorraine rather than depicting urban environments.

As in his previous work the photographs has a theatrical side as well as a very particular sense of time - 'that of a rhythmic hold between two beats' - becoming 'both more monumental and more bare'.

"They also revealed to the artist a world of imagination, in sites which are hardly an invitation to contemplation.

Motorways under construction, nuclear power stations and other industrial sites rise like the vestiges of lost civilization and take on a dimension of almost mythic stature."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Broken Landscapes.

Broken Landscapes 2003 - 2008. Photographs by Orna Wertman. Orna Wertman, Amsterdam, 2009. 40 pp., 30 color illustrations, 11¾x8½".

In 'Broken Landscapes' photographer Orna Wertman is examining 'the fragmentation of perception, the concomitant experience of reality, globalisation and the permanent danger of the unexpected'.

The landscape photographs taken by Wertman are beautiful and seemingly fairly conventional, and it's only after a few viewings that you realise there's something slightly wrong with Wertman’s depicted scenery - a disturbance or a natural relation that doesn't quite tally.

As exampled: "a breakwater doesn’t go into the sea but into a swampy landscape; what seems to be sky is a field of ice in which absent trees are reflected; the birch wood tree depicted also has its entire root system exposed".

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Paper Mind

My Paper Mind by Javan Ivey.

Happy Friday to you all! (read about this little short and its maker here).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rhythm 23

Rhythm 23 (1923) by Hans Richter.

The German modernist Hans Richter (1888 - 1976) was a painter, graphic artist and experimental filmmaker.

He initially painted in a cubist style, but moved into film - being best known for his experiments in avantgarde cinema. He was also a founding member of the Dada movement.

He is quoted as saying:

"Influenced by cubism and its search for structure, but not satisfied with what it offered, I found myself between 1913-1918 increasingly faced with the conflict of suppressing spontaneous expression in order to gain an objective understanding of a fundamental principle with which I could control the ‘heap of fragments’ inherited from the cubists.

Thus I gradually lost interest in the subject – in any subject – and focused instead on the positive-negative (white-black) opposition, which at least gave me a working hypothesis whereby I could organize the relationship of one part of a painting to the other."

His film Rhythmus 21 is generally considered to be the first completely abstract film, and is now viewed as an avantgarde classic.

'Rhythmus 23' is "constructed entirely out of the interplay between square shapes and diagonal lines, often related via superimposition, and the underlying architectonic principle is geometric symmetry.

In the opening of the film, for example, two white squares on the left and right sides of the screen move towards each other along an axially symmetric path until they finally 'fuse' into a larger white square, before breaking apart into shrinking squares that careen off diagonally, in parallel with one another.

At the end of the film, this same sequence re-appears, but this time inverted, with black squares moving against a white background."

Suggested further reading: here, here and here for example.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Wildfire. Photographs by Sasha Bezzubov. Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2009. 64 pp., 32 four color illustrations., 12x13".

'Wildfire' is Sasha Bezzubov's first monograph. It encompasses 32 large-scale photographs of the aftermath of forest fires in California (US).

Bezzubov has gained recognition for his photographs of natural disasters, and in this, as in his ongoing project 'Things Fall Apart', he uses landscape photography as a means of documenting 'the fragility of the man-made as it is transformed into dreamscapes of apocalyptic proportions'.

Mary Hrbacek, New York Art World:

"The cycle of destruction and regeneration, of death and birth, is a reality that is not subject to human contravection.

Despite the muted palette, these pictures present stunning vistas of natural wreckage that mirror man-made war zones. The vastness of the devastation is at once appalling and breathtaking"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Above Zero.

Above Zero. Photographs by Olaf Otto Becker. Text by Dr. Konrad Steffan. Interview by Freddi Langer. Hatje Cantz, 2009. 160 pp., 75 color illustrations, 13½x11".

German photographer Olaf Otto Becker has worked as a freelance photographer since 1988, as well as exhibiting frequently and contributing to various publications.

In 2008 Broken Line, his exploration of the coast of Greenland, was published and subsequently won the 'German Photo Book Award'. 'Above Zero' is in a way an extension of his work in 'Broken Line', but in these series of photographs he's instead examining the interior landscape of Greenland - a country who has the second largest inland ice surfaces in the world.

"Becker’s spectacular portraits of this region are taken during physically strenuous, sometimes life-threatening treks among glacial crevasses and melting ice floes, with a cumbersome large-format camera.

His photo studies draw out the overwhelming beauty of this icy landscape, while documenting their present fragility: dust and rust in the air form black, crusty deposits, which, in conjunction with global warming, accelerate the melting of the ice sheets - with what will probably be inevitable, catastrophic results."

Monday, February 15, 2010


Asor. Photographs by Graciela Iturbide. Steidl, 2008. 200 pp., 115 tritone illustrations., 8¼x8¼". Special edition available from Steidl.

Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide examines everyday life, her photographs almost always in black and white. Taking her inspiration from photographers such as Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado and Álvarez Bravo, she became interested in the daily life of Mexico's indigenous people and their cultures. She has photographed in Mexico City, Juchitán, Oaxaca and on the Mexican/American border.

In 'Asor' however "the human subject is the reader alone, dream borne, on a journey in which all places remain nameless, time cannot be ascertained and the course is lost to the imagination.

Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Iturbide constructs her intimate and contemporary extension of Lewis Carroll's classic tale without words, making equal use of the narrative and compositional elements of Iturbide's photographs to startle her readers with visual riddles and quick shifts of perspective.

To accompany a reader along this unlikely journey are six electroacoustic works by composer Manuel Rocha Iturbide. These works, composed over a 15-year period from 1990 to 2005 from sources taped by Rocha Iturbide during his extensive travels, were selected by the composer in response to his mother's photographs.

With secrets drawn from her archive, Graciela Iturbide creates a curious world in which the human subjects we encounter in her widely-known portraits are absent."

I have previously also featured her book Graciela Iturbide.

Apologies for a few days of no posts. I have the most horrendous cold/flu and have also managed to do my back in.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Hokkaido.

In Hokkaido. Landscapes and Memory. Photographs by Michael Kenna. RAM / Nazraeli Press, 2010. 64 pp., 50 illustrations, 8½x11". View inside the book here.

This is a limited 2nd printing of 'In Hokkaido', the artist's book by photographer Micheal Kenna examining the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

'In Hokkaido' was originally published by RAM in conjunction with Kenna's exhibition at the Kushiro Art Museum in Hokkaido, Japan.

From the afterword by Daido Moriyama:

"The land of Hokkaido as Michael responds to it, with a perspective foreign to us Japanese, appears entirely new.

The landscapes he has captured suggest the vistas that the aboriginal Ainu people might have seen around them when Hokkaido was their heaven and earth, in the distant past before mainland Japanese settled there to colonize the island.

The photographs seem to fix nature itself, pure, an unsullied world.

Through Michael Kenna, a single photographer from another country, Hokkaido has acquired a completely new complement of natural features."

You can view some of the images inside this artist's book by going here and then clicking on the thumbnail to flick through.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Displaced. Photographs by Lauren Henkin. Vela Noche Press, 2010. 56 pp., 39 original archival ultrachrome prints, 9½x13". Images from photo-eye.

Fine art landscape photographer Lauren Henkin's work strives to describe the essence of what is around us.

In 'Displaced', her first published book, she's made a deeply personal book about 'finding external beauty in the midst of intense internal crisis'.

The book is an extension of her work, and will be entirely handmade. It's printed on archival paper and the printing will be done by Heskin herself, letterpress printing by Inge Bruggeman and the book will be hand-bound by acclaimed bookbinder John DeMerritt.

The book will be in a limited edition of 60 + 5 artist proofs, containing 39 original prints from two black and white portfolios 'derived from solitary departures in the U.S. and Nova Scotia'.

'Displaced' has been described as 'a profound meditation on loss and renewal, and what endures'. For me I think it would be wonderful to see a physical copy in order to fully examine the craftsmanship put in to this book. The promise is there however.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Last Iceberg.

The Last Iceberg. Photographs by Camille Seaman. Text by Paul Hawken. photolucida, Portland, OR, 2008. 64 pp., 29 color illustrations, 8½x10".

Photographer Camille Seaman has won a number of awards and had her work published in Newsweek and American Photo amongst others.

'The Last Iceberg'-series of photographs are part of a larger project called 'Melting Away', which documents the environment, life form, community and history of human exploration of the polar regions.

"It is hardly possible to look at Camille Seaman’s icebergs as inert or insentient. Therein lies the gift these images bestow.

Though they are made of ice, these massifs of the sea are as diverse and distinct as any terrestrial form. The tabular mesas broken off from the Weddell Ice Shelf are white glazed deserts. The crystal pinnacles cast off from Greenland seem to be mountaintops set adrift.

Icebergs known as drydocks can have arches and bridges carved by rain and wind. Unstable pinnacles can invert themselves as they melt above sea line, creating localized tidal waves that can easily swamp a nearby boat."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Protest Photographs.

Protest Photographs. Photographs and text by Chauncey Hare. Edited by Jack Steven. Steidl / Steven Kasher Gallery, Gottingen, 2009. 224 pp., 170 tritone illustrations, 10x12½". View inside the book here.

Photographer and documenter Chauncey Hare does not define himself as a photographer, but instead above all as a protester, as well as an engineer and a family therapist.

Hare took photographs of working-class homes and workplaces across America in the late 1960s-early 1970s, and he has previously published two books: 'Interior America' (1977) and 'This Was Corporate America' (1984).

In 'Protest Photographs' Hare describes a life committed to protest. "He describes his keen identification with the people whose homes he photographed throughout the late 60s and early 70s, and his refusal to betray them by selling his photography.

He tells of his struggles to have his photographs accepted by the art world, and relates his abusive childhood, and the difficulties of his work life as an engineer at a major oil company and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

You can view inside the book / some of the book pages here.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Pianissimo by Carmen D'Avino

Carmen D'Avino (1918–2004) pioneered animated short films, and was also one of the leading figures in the avantgarde film movements of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

A fine art student at the Art Students League in New York City in the 1930s he also became interested in the medium of film. This continued at his art studies at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris were he complemented his paintings with experimentation into film and documentation.

D'Avino worked, studied and exhibited all over the world, as well as making films for commercial companies (read further here).

His film 'Pianissimo' was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film ('Oscar Best Short Subject, Cartoons') in 1964.

The British Film Institute describes 'Pianisssimo' as:
"An animated film about what could happen if a berserk painter were left alone in a room with a mechanical piano, a record player and several tins of paint".

Carmen D'Avino has also worked extensively with sculpture and oil painting, part of the same examination of and experimentation into shapes, colours, and forms.

"No matter the medium, D'Avino transports viewers of his art to a whimsical, non-threatening, yet distracting place where eyes and minds are never at rest.

What they see is pleasing, sometimes comical, but disturbing, with the ability to agitate.

With the grain of wood or his palette of vivid colors, D'Avino can engulf people in a tapestry of intricate designs, rich with detail and texture, which grow with organic vitality".

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Lost Boy Mountain.

Lost Boy Mountain. Photographs by Lester B. Morrison. Little Brown Mushroom Books, 2009. 24 pp., Illustrated throughout, 5½x8". Images from Little Brown Mushroom blog.

Little Brown Mushroom Books description of 'Lost Boy Mountain' is: "Lester B. Morrison's first book is a combination of collage and Haiku".

That in itself is intriguing enough, but almost more so was that I found it hard to gather much more information on the book or its author. I did eventually however discover this synopsis at Printed Matter:

"Alec Soth's alter ego Lester B. Morrison is the author of (and protagonist in) a series of eleven haiku describing 'Lost Boy Mountain', the ultimate place of refuge from the passage of time.

Morrison's evocative poems are accompanied by equally evocative collages made from found photographs of tree houses and subterranean caves, which the artist connects by way of ladders, both explicit and implied."

'Lost Boy Mountain' is a fantastic looking book (containing really great collages, which is my weakness), seemingly made from an interesting and intriguing premise.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Thomas Demand.

Thomas Demand. Photographs by Thomas Demand. Text by Walter Abish, Mark Godfrey. SteidlMack, 2010. 226 pp., 35 color illustrations, 11½x11".

Munich-born artist and photographer Thomas Demand is not a photographer in the traditional sense of the word, but rather photography is the means in which he preserves and communicates his work, it adding the last layer to the process.

In this process Demand photographs paper models that's been built to scale. They are thereafter scaled down, emptied of any persons or events, leaving a 'ghost image' of what has once happened that seem simultaneously familiar and dreamlike.

'Thomas Demand' is a catalogue from the 2009 Nationalgalerie exhibition and brings together his work on German history after 1945, which is an examination of the 'Deutschlandbild' (German self-image).

"These reflections, reconstructed in photographs from a variety of scenarios in the postwar period, encourage the viewer to consider the complexity of the photographic document.

Demand’s representations of the social and historical are introduced not as monoliths but as places of multiple possibility, halls of mirrors in which the viewer is forced to confront - rather than be fed - potential distortions."

At the heart of his art is his concern with the flexibility of the human memory and the interaction between 'the central and peripheral image'. For Demand the photographer’s success can be found in 're-privatisating that which is constructed as a public opinion'.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Visual typography by Ebon Heath

Typography mobiles by Ebon Heath. Images from yatzer.

Brooklyn-based artist Ebon Heath creates astonishing mobiles or 3D sculptures made out of letters and words almost thrown together in a vivid, musical poetry.

The movement and rhythmical language in the pieces are immediate, and the typography, words and sentences given free reign to interact with and react to the larger physical environment.

This work is a sensational use of the physical form of language, with a forcefulness yet undeniable beautiful.

Ebon Heath on his work:

"The structures are a physical representation of our language as object.

This 'visual noise' permeates all aspects of modern culture, especially urban living. From the signs, billboards, stores, and t-shirts that yell with type for attention as you walk down any high street. All the audio and verbal noise, from music we plug our ears with to the din of countless conversations, screams and whispers. With new media of texting, online, and transmitted technology there is even invisible noise silent to the eye surrounding us all.

It is this cozy womb of information, data, or chorus of cacophony that my mobiles hope to represent as well as reveal. Making the invisible visible."

Read yatzer's fantastic interview with Ebon Heath here.