Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Evelyn Brent. Portrait by Eugene Robert Richee. Source (shanghai lily flickr).

Happy New Year! See you in 2011...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mythic City.

The Mythic City. Photographs of New York by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1925-1940. Photographs by Samuel H. Gottscho. Text by Donald Albrecht. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2005. 224 pp., 175 duotone illustrations, 8½x11". Images from here.

Book description:

"Daring, bold, dramatic, towering, impossibly glamorous: this is how we imagine New York in its golden age, and this is how Samuel H. Gottscho, the preeminent architectural photographer of his generation, captured it.

Through his lens, New York of the 1930s became the quintessential modern metropolis, a round-the-clock city in which night was as charismatic as day. Rigorously editing out the Depression-weary city's more seamy aspects - its tenement slums, breadlines, and soup kitchens - Gottscho presented a dreamlike Gotham of skyscrapers and penthouse luxury that literally and figuratively glowed with glamour's sheen.

His gimlet eye focused on the bold interplay of sun and shadow, dramatizing the chiseled forms of Manhattan's signature skyline and bridges. The Empire State and Chrysler buildings, Rockefeller Center, the Plaza, the George Washington Bridge - Gottscho brought them all to sparkling life.

In this beautifully produced, landmark book, historian Donald Albrecht presents 175 of Gottscho's extraordinary images of the city, from the Battery to Harlem.

An introductory essay tells the story of this legendary photographer, describing his working methods and philosophy, while placing his work in the broader context of photographic history."

The paperback edition of 'The Mythic City. Photographs of New York by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1925-1940' will be out in the summer of 2011 (available for pre-order).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Third Eye.

The Third Eye. Photographs by Michael J. Benari. Michael J. Benari, 2010. 28 pp., black & white illustrations throughout, 11x9½".

Michael J.Benari says of the book 'The Third Eye':

"The concept of the 'third eye' has origins in spiritual traditions, to imply greater awareness, insight or enlightenment. For me the concept is more personal, relating to the layers of perception and inner vision that work to build one's artistic output.

One source of inspiration is the urban landscapes, where randomness and chaos intersect to create graphic elements full of emotional and psychological tensions and mystery.

I engage the viewer to reach below the surface, to search for hidden references that somehow resonate both personally and universally."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thinner Air.

Thinner Air. Photographs by John Mann. Three Post Press, Tallahassee, FL, 2010. 48 pp., 28 colour and black & white illustrations, 8x10". Limited edition of 150 copies (hand numbered and signed). Images from photo-eye.

'Thinner Air' is photographer and artist John Mann's first book. It "expands on the themes of travel and escape known in his previous works.

This project depicts the movement of a small plane from its construction through its escape into a space that is both abstract and tangible.

The juxtaposition of imagery and the use of both black-and-white and color photography in one continuous sequence build a narrative that is at once dream-like and seamless."

Quote from here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

La Carte d'apres Nature.

La Carte d'apres Nature. Essay by Christy Lange. Texts by Thomas Demand, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham and Luigi Ghirri. Design by Naomi Misuzaki. MACK, 2010. 4 colour. 144 pp., 25 x 34 cm (catalogue) and 64pp., 23 x 27 cm (booklet).

Book description:

" 'La Carte d'apres Nature', published to accompany an exhibition curated by Thomas Demand at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, takes its title from a short-lived art magazine created by René Magritte between 1951 and 1954.

Magritte's publication ran for just fourteen issues and each consisted of a postcard, featuring loosely connected poetry, illustrations and short stories. In a similar fashion,Thomas Demand has selected artworks by eighteen artists that are related to each other in an associative manner.

The selected work is connected by two ideas: tamed nature and Surrealism as an artistic form fashioned by Magritte. Just as Magritte himself related ideas from different eras, Demand chose works by different generations of artists: Saâdane Afif, Kudjo Affutu, Becky Beasley, Martin Boyce, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Ger Van Elk, Chris Garofalo, Luigi Ghirri, Leon Gimpel, Rodney Graham, Henrik Håkansson, Anne Holtrop, August Kotzsch, René Magritte, Robert Mallet-Stevens, and Jan and Joel Martel.

The book, designed by Thomas Demand and Naomi Misuzaki, takes Margritte's notion of free association further, combining the wide range of works into an elaborate exploration of the disjuncture between the representation of art and the representation itself.

Christy Lange's engaging essay traces this idea that a representation of nature is always a simulacrum through the work of the different artists, for example, relating the surrealist resonance of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri's 'impossible landscapes' to Margritte's playful canvases and Demand's photographs of his paper sculptures.

Texts by Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Luigi Ghirri and Thomas Demand are threaded through the segue of images and the object is completed with a second book housed in an envelope neatly built into the back endpaper of the catalogue, a facsimile of a Luigi Ghirri manuscript for a small book of photographs."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New York Minute.

New York Minute. Various photographers. OH-WOW, 2009. 204 pp., illustrated throughout, 9x12". Dedicated to Dash Snow. Images from OH-WOW and the Reed Space.

The book 'New York Minute' is made up of "over 200 pages covering each of the 60 artists as well as three sections of candid photographs and artwork representing the imagery from the exhibition. It also contains essays from Aaron Bondaroff, Kathy Grayson and Gavin McInnes.

The artists represented in the book are: Aaron Bondaroff, Agathe Snow, Alan Vega, Ara Peterson, Aurel Schmidt, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Banks Violette, Barry McGee, Ben Jones, Brian Belott, Brian Chippendale, Brian Degraw, Chris Johanson, Cory Arcangel, Dan Colen, Dash Snow, Dearraindrop, Eddie Martinez, Ester Partegas, Evan Gruzis, Francine Spiegel, Gang Gang Dance, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Hanna Liden, JD Samson, Jim Drain, Joe Bradley, Jules De Balincourt, Katherine Bernhardt, Keegan McHargue, Kembra Phaler, Kon Trubkovich, Lizzi Bougatsos, Mat Brinkman, Martha Friedman, Matt Lienes, Michael Bell-Smith, Mitzi Pederson, Nate Lowman, Nico Dios, Neck Face, Paper Rad, Patrick Griffin, Peter Coffin, Rosson Crow, Ry Fyan, Ryan McGinley, Scott Campbell, Spencer Sweeney, Sterling Ruby, Steve Powers, Takeshi Murata, Tauba Auerbach, Taylor McKimens, Terence Koh, threeasFOUR, Tim Barber, Tomoo Gokita, Valerie Hegarty, Xylor Jane and Yuichi Yokoyama.

The New York Minute book was produced for the New York Minute Exhibition at Macro Future Museum in Rome. Curated by Kathy Grayson, this exhibition runs from September 19 - November 1, 2009."

To read more about the book and exhibition go here for example.

Quote from here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Searching for True North.

Searching for True North. Photographs by Geir Jordahl. Modernbook, Palo Alto, 2007. 164 pp., 127 duotone illustrations, 9¼x13". Images from photo-eye.

In his work Norwegian photographer Geir Jordahl "explores his relationship to space and experience by interacting with its periphery through the use of panoramic vision. His engaging compositions speak both to the specifics of place and to the imagination.

The journey is an intergral part of Geir's work both figuratively and literally. Geir is Norwegian born and feels that the foundation of travel is an essential aspect of his vision.

Geir has exhibited extensively including the Museum of Modern Art, Finland, Museum of Photograhy, Germany, Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco and Kodak Gallery in Tokyo."

About the limited edition of 'Searching for True North':

Limited edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered and with two 4 x 9" prints. The cloth-bound book and matted photographs comes in a clamshell box.

Quote from here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Maske. Photographs by Phyllis Galembo. Chris Boot, 2010. 208 pp., 108 colour illustrations, 8½x9½". Cover image from photo-eye.

"The clothes we wear invariably telegraph information about our identity, our place in society and the stories we wish to convey about ourselves.

The fantastically colorful costumes specific to African and Caribbean rituals and celebrations go several steps further, transforming ordinary people into mythic figures and magicians, tricksters and gods, and symbolizing the roles their wearers play in the ancient dramas that form the cornerstones of their cultural heritage.

Phyllis Galembo began photographing the characters and costumes of African masquerade in Nigeria in 1985, and since then she has continued developing her theme throughout Africa and the Caribbean.

This volume collects 108 thrilling carnival photographs from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Haiti. In magnificent color shots, Galembo's subjects pose in striped bodysuits that cover the entire body, including the face; or outfits made entirely of bunched greenery; or a lacquered wooden mask topped with a headdress featuring full-body models of other characters; or an oversize misshapen animal head and plywood wings.

The carnival characters, rooted in African religion and spirituality, are presented in chapters organized by tribal or carnival tradition and are accompanied by Galembo's personal commentary, shedding light on the characters and costumes portrayed, and on the events in which they play a pivotal role.

'Maske' is a serious contribution to ethnographic study, a photo-essay about fashion and an assembly of superb images."

For images from this series of photographs go here.

Quote from here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

100 Flowers.

100 Flowers. Photographs by Louis Porter. Lozen Up, 2009. 28 pp., 100 colour illustrations, 7x8½".

Book description:

"This book is made up of one hundred photographs of flower beds installed by the Chinese government before the Olympic games.

Its title and images are a play on the 100 Flowers Movement initiated by Communist party chairman Mao Tse Toung.

After the dust of the Communist Revolution had settled, Mao encouraged intellectuals, artists and other thinkers to offer 'healthy criticism' of the government's progress.

When they came forward and expressed concern Mao was furious and began a process that eventually led to the Cultural Revolution."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Mushroom Collector.

The Mushroom Collector. By Jason Fulford. Edited by Lorenzo de Rita. The Soon Institute, 2010. 196 pp., illustrated throughout, 9,5x12,5". Images from here.

'The Mushroom Collector' is a book by photographer Jason Fulford. It came to be when "a friend of Fulford’s gave him a stack of anonymous photographs of mushrooms, found at a flea market.

The mushroom images got stuck in Fulford’s mind, like a bad song sometimes does, and they started to grow in his own work.

The Mushroom Collector combines some of the original flea-market pictures with his own images and text about the project."

A limited edition (signed and numbered edition of 50, with each edition accompanied by a 8x10" Analog C-print) is available, as well as individual prints (available from the Soon Institute).

For events relating to 'The Mushroom Collector' go here.

Quote from here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Series and Progressions.

Series and Progressions. Work by Dan Flavin. Texts by Tiffany Bell, Dan Graham, Anne Rorimer, Richard Schiff and Alexandra Whitney. Steidl & Partners, 2010. 165pp., four colour plates throughout, 25.4x30.5 cm.

Book description:

"This monograph is published on the occasion of Dan Flavin: Series and Progressions, the first exhibition [2009] of the artist’s work at David Zwirner since the gallery announced its representation of the Estate of Dan Flavin.

This publication will examine Flavin’s use of progressions and serial structures, ideas that were central to the artist’s practice throughout his career.

Flavin has been credited (by Mel Bochner) with being 'one of the first artists to make use of a basically progressional procedure', and the systematic arrangement of colour and light was an aspect of his work that not only led to it being characterized as Minimal art but which moreover influenced Conceptual artistic practices.

The catalogue will feature a selection of exemplary work by the artist, ranging in date from 1963 to 1990.

The first major monograph on Flavin’s work since the 2004 exhibition catalogue published on the occasion of the artist’s travelling retrospective (organized in 2004 by the Dia Art Foundation in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Estate of Dan Flavin), 'Dan Flavin: Series and Progressions' will include over 50 full-colour plates, in addition to a comprehensive selection of installation views and archival photographs and documents.

Also included will be newly-commissioned texts on the artist’s work by noted Flavin scholar Tiffany Bell (who authored the artist’s catalogue raisonné), and by art historians Anne Rorimer and Richard Shiff, and an interview with Dan Graham.

Additionally, a detailed illustrated chronology will document exhibitions of Flavin’s work, covering the years 2004–2010."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ideas about Time.

Ideas about Time. Photographs by Mark Klett. Text by Marilyn Zeitlin. Arizona State University, Tempe, 2002. Unpaged, 52 colour and black-and-white illustrations, 9x11".

'Ideas about Time' is an exhibition catalogue published by the Arizona State University Art Museum to coincide with a traveling exhibition with work by American photographer Mark Klett.

Klett's work has focused on "explorations of man’s interaction with the American landscape, and more recently on issues of photography in time including rephotography".

In the essay accompanying the work museum director Marilyn Zeitlin states " 'it is clear that nearly all of the work reflects a concern with time. The work is both analysis and meditation, and his reflections on time are no exception to this dual attitude that brings together a subtle poetry with a scientific exactitude'.

Having prepared for and pursued early on a career in the U.S. Geological Society, Klett brings to his art not only an understanding of time on a vast scale but also a deep concern with man's effects on the environment.

He is well-known for his influential work 'Second View: The Rephotographic Survey Project' which exactingly reproduced views of sites in the American West made historic in 19th-century survey photographs.

'Third View' presents a continuation of that team effort, led by Project Director Klett. The participants explain: 'The project made more than 110 rephotographs from the same vantage points as the originals while also attempting to duplicate the original photographs' lighting conditions, both in time of day and year.

This disk samples seven sites along with a portion of the collateral materials collected, including interviews and other sound files and site-related imagery such as Virtual Reality panoramas'."

First quote from here ; second quote from here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pebble Island.

Pebble Island. By Jon McNaught. Nobrow Press, 2010. 38pp., four colours, 15x15cm.

'Pebble Island', a comic in book format without dialogue or verbal narrative, is in Jon McNaught "trademark silent storytelling style" and "set in these stark and unforgiving surroundings that nonetheless exude an air of tranquility and respite."

Book description:

"Far across the Atlantic Ocean lies the windswept shore of Pebble Island, a secluded place where time goes slowly, and the seasons all happen at once, where rocks on the beach are perfectly round, and TV broadcasts are limited and late.

Drawing from memories of a childhood home in the Falklands, Jon McNaught uses wordless comic strips and intricate prints to form a playful study of isolation and adventure; Children gather in sprawling peat bogs where ruined military vehicles become secret bases, a fisherman settles down in his cluttered cabin to watch the Saturday night movie, and sheep thoughtfully wander the hills, grazing in the billowing grass."

I've written about the excellent Nobrow before here, here and here.

Quotes from here.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Second Museum of Our Wishes.

The Second Museum of Our Wishes. Edited by John Peter Nilsson. Texts by Lars Nittve, Griselda Pollock and the Moderna Museet’s curators. Moderna Museet Sweden and Steidl publishers, 2010. 140pp., illustrated throughout, 17x23,5cm.

"On 18 April, 2006, Moderna Museet launched its vision of The Second Museum of our Wishes, initially with a debate article by director of Moderna Museet Lars Nittve, under the heading 'Routine preference given to male artists'.

The article was an appeal to the government for a one-off allocation of SEK 50 million to adjust the gender balance in the Moderna Museet collection. The entire sum would be used to purchase works by women artists from the first half of the 20th century. This would entail a genuine opportunity to give women artists a more fair place in history."

After the successful accomplishment of this goal the Moderna Museet collection has now been "enhanced with a total of 24 works by 13 artists.

The majority of these works have been exhibited in the permanent exhibition since they were acquired and have thus not only markedly changed the statistic gender balance in the collection that meets visitors to the museum, but also the art histories that the museum conveys.

The title [of this vision and the book documenting it] refers to an exhibition at Moderna Museet in 1963, when former Director Pontus Hultén managed to pursuade the government to allocate, what was at the time, a considerable sum for purchasing many of the works that are now key works in the collection by male artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso.

Artists now represented with important works in the collection thanks to The Second Museum of our Wishes are: Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Susan Hiller, Tora Vega Holmström, Anna-Chaja Abelevna Kagan, Hilma af Klint (through a deposit agreement), Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Lee Lozano, Alice Neel, Lioubov Popova, Carolee Schneemann, Monica Sjöö and Dorothea Tanning."

First quote from here ; second quote from here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Dalen. Photographs by Gerry Johansson. Libraryman Co. Ltd., 2010. 32 pp., 30 duotone illustrations, 11x11¾". Signed and numbered. Images from photo-eye.

Swedish photographer Gerry Johansson "has, during a total of one year's four seasons, traveled to the location he had dreams of shooting as a young teenager".

The result is these duo-tone photographs encapsulated in the large-format book titled 'Dalen', which means the valley in Swedish.

Apologies for lack of posts - I'm down with flu and high fever.

Quote from here.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Phantom City - a Novel.

Phantom City - a Novel. Photographs by Kim Bouvy. Pels & Kemper, The Netherlands, 2010. 224 pp., 150 black & white illustrations, 6½x9". Images from photo-eye.

A poignant tale.

Book description:

"In this photographic novel, Dutch artist Kim Bouvy explores the way urban surroundings are perceived and valued - and how that is reflected in the visual culture, including art and architecture.

Bouvy focuses on the city of Rotterdam through 160 images culled from newspaper clippings, promotional materials, postcards, and other images, which she mixes with photographs she took around Rotterdam between 2001 and 2006.

Through these images and texts, Bouvy weaves a tale about a phantom city, a place that everybody recognizes but no one knows, where the present, future and past collide and merge into an unexpected narrative."