Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bridge at Hoover Dam.

The Bridge at Hoover Dam. By Jamey Stillings. Nazraeli Press, 2011. 128 pp., illustrated throughout, 13,5x17". Images from here.

'Documenting' projects like this is always really interesting to me. I also really appreciate the graphic lines and shapes constructed with the lines of the architecture, nature and building process in these photographs.

Book description:

"In March of 2009, amidst the rumblings of a global financial crisis that was to shape zeitgeist for years to come, Jamey Stillings set out on a road trip to reinvigorate his creative spirit.

What he encountered would captivate, challenge and amaze him. Like a child suddenly finding himself before the world's largest erector set, Jamey had discovered the Bridge at Hoover Dam. Instantly, he knew he would dedicate himself to exploring and documenting construction of the bridge through its completion.

Over the course of two years and set against the cultural and economic backdrop of our time, Jamey created a body of work that echoes the Bridge in its ability to simultaneously celebrate the power of human spirit and ingenuity while inviting an examination of the intersection of nature and the hand of man.

Against the temporal landscape of economic hardship, an eerie historic echo of its neighboring Hoover Dam, and the flashy and impermanent cultural landscape of Las Vegas, the Colorado River, Black Canyon and the Bridge that soars over are natural and manmade symbols of immutability and wonder.

Together, they are a legacy at which generations will marvel and Stillings’ images are imbued with the awe of one in the presence of great natural powers and the acme of human effort and creativity. Jamey Stillings' work has been widely exhibited and published throughout the country.

The artist's first monograph, 'The Bridge at Hoover Dam', is beautifully produced in an oversized format, and is published to coincide with a traveling exhibition opening at the Phoenix Art Museum in August 2011."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Richard Prince: American Prayer.

Richard Prince: American Prayer. By Richard Prince. Essays by Bob Rubin, Marie Minssieux-Chamonard and John McWhinnie. Gagosian Gallery, 2011. 600 pp., illustrated throughout, 6,5x9". Images from here.

I'm not always a fan of Richard Prince’s work, but it really is a treat to see the inspiration behind his work in the form of his book collection.

For me, it's adding more layers to his work and gives me another insight into his creative process (and of course I love book collections and book-related ephemera).

Book description:

"A look into Richard Prince’s private library and his influences, published on the occasion of an exhibition of twentieth-century rare books and ephemera at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

'Richard Prince: American Prayer' is an accompanying volume that expands upon the presentation. Literary excerpts complement illustrations of artworks, showing the influence of the texts and Prince's book collection, including rare volumes such as 'Naked Lunch', Jack Kerouac's rolled manuscript for Big Sur, and editions of Vladimir Nabokov's 'Lolita' in several languages.

'American Prayer' reveals the source for many of Prince’s well-known series and includes texts ranging from one-sentence quips to longer excerpts.

Robert Rubin is an art historian and collector of contemporary art and design. Marie Minssieux-Chamonard is a contemporary and rare book curator at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. John McWhinnie is a rare-book dealer and gallerist."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


A. By Gregory Halpern. Edited by Jason Fulford. J & L Books, 2011. 96 pp., illustrated throughout, 9,5x11,75". Images from here.

Book description:

"In 'A', American photographer Gregory Halpern (born 1977) leads us on a ramble through the brilliant and ruined streets of the United States Rust Belt.

The cast of characters, both human and animal, are portrayed with compassion and respect by this native son of Buffalo (now professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology).

The cities he is drawn to - Baltimore, Cincinnati, Omaha, Detroit - share similar histories with his hometown, and in this post-apocalyptic springtime all forms of life emerge and run riot.

On the heels of Halpern’s two previous books, 'Harvard Works Because We Do' (a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school’s service employees) and 'Omaha Sketchbook' (a lyrical artist’s book portrait of the titular city), 'A' continues the photographer’s investigations of locations and persons that fly under the radar."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lost in Time.

Lost in Time. By Marc Theis, with an essay by Boris von Brauchitsch. Peperoni Books, 2011. 144pp., illustrated throughout, 24x30cm.

Book description:

"Not another industrial ruin, one is tempted to say. But this time the situation is different, because in the images, which Marc Theis has taken on the abandoned Continental-site in Hannover, the different time levels interlace to a peculiar dialogue of generations.

The Continental tire manufacturing plant in Hannover with over 30 halls had the size of a whole town itself and as the forth-largest tire manufacturer an enormous meaning for the surrounding region and the people living there. But long ago the production came to a standstill and has been relocated to low-income countries. Marc Theis went on a discovery tour in the shut down factory and thereby came across anarchist traces.

Graffiti artists, actually interested in maximum public attention, have turned the sealed off plant into their playground. Between ruins, collapsed walls, pipes, boilers and left behind machines they have attached their tags and have let a new staff move in. The painted figures interact with the architecture and the left behind objects and comment them - funny, melancholic and obscene. The anonymous graffiti artists, members of the postindustrial generation, use the vacancy and the decay in order to send their messages - behind closed doors!

The artistically and atmospherically strong photographs by Marc Theis document this grotesque-poetic, ephemeral state which meanwhile has disappeared in time itself. All halls have been demolished by now."

Friday, November 18, 2011

In the Shadow of Things.

In the Shadow of Things. Photographs by Léonie Hampton. Contrasto, 2011. 160 pp., illustrated throughout, 6x8,25". Images from here and here.

Book description:

"For over a decade Léonie’s mother Bron found it impossible to empty the packing boxes which had filled her new home since the collapse of her first marriage. The boxes, along with packed plastic bags and accumulated artefacts from her former life, were a constant, physical reminder to her family of Bron's long-running battle with OCD.

In 2007, a deal was struck: Léonie would help Bron empty the house on the condition that she be allowed to document that process.

'In the Shadow of Things' is the product of the months that Léonie spent with her mother as together they tried to tackle the irrational rituals and behaviours that were dominating her life. Opening the boxes and clearing out the rooms led to moments of anguish and anger, but also of humour, tenderness, and joy.

The book combines original photographs with found family images and transcripts of conversations, arguments and monologues. The result is an honest and intimate portrait of a family dealing with mental illness, a reflection on the power of the past, and a testament to the bond between a mother and a daughter."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It shook me by the hand, and then it punched me in the ear.

It shook me by the hand, and then it punched me in the ear. By Ralph Dorey. Tulenizdat/Ralph Dorey, 2011. 24pp., illustrated throughout, 21x14,8cm. Edition of 50 (second edition).

'It shook me by the hand, and then it punched me in the ear' is a publication by artist Ralph Dorey. It contains a juxtaposition of texts, drawings and photographs blending together to give a clear, cohesive poetic rhythm - a rhythm that to me signifies the "fluid nature of people and places" especially.

The book/zine obviously has a pretty great title (a title that comes across a lot quieter than one might expect though), which sort of feeds into the opening text (which really resonated with me) and further unfolds in the art work and photographs.

Book description:

" 'It shook me by the hand, and then it punched me in the ear' is an archive of images and a set of marginal notes.

It is concerned with moss, mid-winter, the fluid nature of people and places, old growth, new decay and the gentle raging of systems.

The cover image is from The Magnificent Seven and the title is an idea of Kurt Vonnegut's. This is second laser printed edition of 50."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tanks. By Joe Zucker. Lapp Princess Press, 1980. 14pp. (according style binding), illustrated throughout, 15x15 cm.

This artist book by Joe Zucker is wonderful and ingenious in its simplicity.

Book description:

"Stretched in Zucker's drawing almost to the point of unrecognizability, two military tanks collide head-on".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Works Walks.

Works Walks. By Magnus Thierfelder. Texts by Marianna Garin, Mathieu Copeland and design by Matilda Plöjel. Sailor press. 128pp., + 32pp., illustrated throughout, 12x16cm.

This is a truly beautifully crafted and thought-out book.

The form and shape of the book is beautiful and cleaver, and that in itself would've gone very far, but what really impressed me with 'Works Walks' is how the content matched this ingenuity.

The content is extensive and you get a real sense of the work of artist Magnus Thierfelder, but what really lifts it is the intersection of text, both in an analytical and visual sense.

It's really a curated exhibition of two halves taking place within the book format.

Book description:

"Magnus Thierfelder’s book 'Works Walks' navigates between associations and connections that unfold within the art works, between them and in the two specially commissioned texts.

The book has two parts; one part 'Works' is an overview of Thierfelders work accompanied by an extensive reflection by Marianna Garin.

'Walks', the other part, shows a selection of the artists sketches - snapshots from the street - with an elaborate essay by Mathieu Copeland that departs from the titles of the art works."

Special edition: includes bookartwork, and is limited to 25 copies, numbered and signed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril.

Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. Numerous contributors, edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu. Trinity University Press, 2010. 464pp., 9,2x6,4". Images from here.

Book description:

" 'Moral Ground' brings together the testimony of over eighty visionaries - theologians and religious leaders, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, naturalists, activists, and writers - to present a diverse and compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibility to our planet.

In the face of environmental degradation and global climate change, scientific knowledge alone does not tell us what we ought to do. The missing premise of the argument and much-needed center piece in the debate to date has been the need for ethical values, moral guidance, and principled reasons for doing the right thing for our planet, its animals, its plants, and its people.

Contributors from throughout the world (including North America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe) bring forth a rich variety of heritages and perspectives. Their contributions take many forms, illustrating the rich variety of ways we express our moral beliefs in letters, poems, economic analyses, proclamations, essays, and stories.

In the end, their voices affirm why we must move beyond a scientific study and response to embrace an ongoing model of repair and sustainability. These writings demonstrate that scientific analysis and moral conviction can work successfully side-by-side."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Le Corbusier, Architect of Books.

Le Corbusier, Architect of Books. By Catherine de Smet. Lars Müller Publishers, 2007. 128pp., illustrated throughout, 24x30cm.

I have for a long time been an appreciator of the work of Le Corbusier, but it's not until now I realised he also had an output as a book artist.

'Le Corbusier, Architect of Books' is a great book that gives you a real idea of what was Le Corbusier's continuous and unfaltering book making process, the importance of this to his other work, as well as the construction and planning of the books themselves.

Book description:

"Le Corbusier’s buildings have long been part of the inalienable canon of twentieth-century architecture. But Le Corbusier’s work as a book designer and author is scarcely known. He planned and realized over 40 books in his lifetime.

'Architect of Books' shows that Le Corbusier accorded great importance to books as an essential part of his output.

Catherine de Smet traces the process by which these books emerged and makes it possible to discover the great construction architect as a book artist."

Friday, November 11, 2011


Abecederia. By Blexbolex. Nobrow Press, 2009. 32pp., illustrated throughout, 21x14,8cm. Edition of 3000.

This is a really wonderful illustration-based book - at first deceptively casual, playful and accessible, but dealing with important subjects such as totalitarianism, alienation and dehumanisation.

Book description:

"With his first independent publication for Nobrow Press, Blexbolex’s graphic novella 'Abecederia' is an incendiary mix of intrigue, artwork and extremes.

A play on the Greek practice of Abecedarium inscriptions, the story is illustrated one letter a time, incorporating A-Z onto the page in ever more ingenious ways.

For his comic, Blexbolex transports the municipal film-noir genre into the jungle clearings of Abecederia, where our protagonists, Leon and Bernard Blanchett, two French born gangsters hiding from an international warrant for arrest in central Africa, are fleeing the police after a far from perfect bank robbery.

A work that confounds with its twists and turns just as much at it impresses with its imagination, 'Abecederia' explores themes such torture, totalitarianism, alienation and dehumanisation in a brutal world where no one is safe.

First published in Germany in 2007, Abecederia is sold out in both it German and French versions and is available exclusively from Nobrow Press."

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Oak. One tree, three years, fifty paintings. By Stephen Taylor, with a foreword by Alain de Botton. Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. 112pp., illustrated throughout, 19,7x23,5 cm.

I love oak trees. I grew up in a suburb next to a small hill of old oak trees, oak trees that was somehow always part of our childhood and whose essence I still carry with me to this day. So strong is the spirit of those trees, so clear in my mind, that recently - many years later - when someone completely unconnected to that time and area started talking about a small hill of oak trees I knew instinctively it was the same one (which indeed it was).

Considering this, it is not strange that I really like this book and series of paintings by Stephen Taylor - paintings of one oak tree painted repeatedly over and over again over the course of three years. The seasons changes, the time of day or night, the mood, the life around it, but the tree stands as it always has.

Book description:

"It was an exercise to learn how to see, to understand just one thing in its greatest detail. Stephen Taylor came across the 250-year-old tree while on a walk in Essex, England, six years ago, shortly after the deaths of his mother and close friend - a tragic time that brought him back to painting and then to an obsession with realism and color perception.

He painted the same oak scores of times over a period of three years, in extremes of weather and light, at all times of day and night.

Oak is nature's creed of endurance (the tree was standing when Jane Austen was just a baby) and of one man's promise to find beauty in a painful world."

Monday, November 07, 2011


Interiors. By Orri Jónsson. Text by Kári Pétursson and Gunnar Porri Pétursson. Steidl, 2011. 144pp., illustrated throughout, 29,7x31 cm.

Book description:

" 'Useful pictures don’t start from ideas. They start from seeing'. Robert Adams

Orri Jónsson was holidaying one summer in the north of Iceland with his family, when he stumbled upon an abandoned farmhouse and began taking photos of it.

Fascinated with the results but disappointed by the restrictions of the 35mm film he had used, he returned to the motif with a large-format analogue camera.

Orri thus photographed the gloriously decaying interiors of deserted houses throughout Iceland for the next twelve years, and 'Interiors' contains the best of these images from 1999 to 2010.

Painterly in colour, rigorous in composition and lacking in people, Orri’s photos evoke the personal histories of the inhabitants who long ago abandoned their homes. 'Interiors' is shaped by an uncanny silence and sense of loss, most poignant in the images of objects people left behind - old buttons, newspapers and even a hot water bottle - tokens of vanished lives."

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Alla helgons dag

Image by Anita Elgerot

Family is incredible important to me, and this is an important day in the year.

"In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries.
Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways."

In many European countries including Sweden the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.

Read more here or here for example.

Quote from here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Straight in the Light.

Straight in the Light. Photographs by Michel Mazzoni. ARP 2 Editions, 2011. 112 pp., illustrated throughout, 16x27,5cm. Images from here.

Book description:

"To explore such notions as time and space Michel Mazzoni uses photography, video installations, texts.

He shows, exhibits, installs his territories. Since he so much questions desertion, desolation, so much searches for beauty beyond appearance, his choices are often rough

His work is actually imbued with a sensitivity that gives heed to interactions between light immateriality, the point of view and the frame demand, like a continuous confrontation between perceptions.

Seeing is enough, taking time, could we say. So Mazzoni is examining maps, observing towns, crossing all around backwards and forwards. Visitor of obliteration and vanished traces, in a way he is building up an archaeology of the intangible and inquiring through light long after the ephemeral."

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Quattro Stagion.

Quattro Stagion. By Klaus Haapaniemi. Pocko editions, 2011. 24pp., illustrated throughout.

Winter is upon us...

Book description:

"Beware the darkness! This 24 page postcard book is the chilling visual record of the effect of the endless Finnish winter on Haapaniemi’s psyche.

Wide-eyed rabbits scurry through stylised, surreal landscapes that trigger memories of the cult English children’s TV program MagicRoundabout. Thistles and leaves weave and warp themselves into semi-abstract patterns. Beneath a pregnant, blood red sun a Cow creature smokes a fag whilst lost in a stark, brown landscape a weird rabbit person stands giving the viewer the finger.

Throughout these scenes the imagery of Slavic art combines in strange synthesis with the artificiality of computer design to create Haapaniemi’s unique style, which is in no way influenced by psychotropic drugs."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Vendoin. By Joe Crocker. Nobrow Small Press, 2011. 32pp., illustrated throughout, 21x14,8cm. Limited edition of 50, hand-signed and numbered (now unfortunately sold out).

I really like this book and wonderful illustrations by Joe Crocker from the excellent Nobrow Press. It sort of made me smile.

Book description:

"Joseph Crocker’s first Small Press book 'Vendoin', is a tale of a missing stiletto and its journey into the deepest recesses of a Dantean inferno of lost garments and psychedellic cross-dressing ghouls.

Brought together by the imaginative pen and ink drawings of Mr. Crocker and a language like no other, 'Vendoin' will literally knock your socks off and in the process do away with your hat and stilettos too.

The book is printed in an edition of only 50 copies, all hand numbered and signed by the artist."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Books on Books #11: Alexey Brodovitch Ballet.

Books on Books #11: Alexey Brodovitch Ballet. Essays by Kerry W. Purcell, Edwin Denby, Jeffrey Ladd. Errata Editions, 2011. 142pp., illustrated throughout 9,5x7".

The Errata Editions Books on Books Series is an "on-going publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of those originals.

Each in this series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or prohibitively expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study into the creation and meanings of these great works of art.

Each in the Books on Books series contains; illustrations of every page in the original photobook being featured; a new essay by established writers on photography composed specially for this series; production notes about the creation of the original edition; biography and bibliography information about each artist."

Books on Books #11 is dedicated to Alexey Brodovitch's 'Ballet', which was "published in 1945 is one of the most legendary of photobook masterpieces.

While already established as a leading influential art director and graphic designer, Brodovitch turned his photographic talents towards rehearsals and performances of ballet companies visiting New York stages. Shot in 35mm and disregarding traditional conventions of 'good' technique, Brodovitch pushed the boundaries of description to create a panorama of images that perfectly captures the motion and spirit of dance.

Books on Books #11 reproduces every dynamic page spread from this rarely seen volume along with a contemporary essay written by leading Brodovitch scholar Kerry William Purcell."