Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS: Art & Photography

Josef Sudek, Portraits
Hardcover, $49.95

"Although the Czech photographer Josef Sudek was mildly reclusive by temperament, and although his photography is commonly characterized as unpeopled (in favor of what he termed "the inanimate life of objects"), a sizable portion of his oeuvre is given over to portraits. In fact, the beginnings of Sudek's work are in portraiture, in his images of fellow patients at the veteran's hospital where he spent three years after the First World War. (It was here that Sudek's right arm was amputated after a battlefield injury, a misfortune which did not prevent him from using heavy, large-format cameras in the future.) Decades later, after he had cofounded the Czech Photographic Society in 1924 and established his signature neo-Romantic preoccupation with architectural Prague, he returned to the genre. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, Sudek photographed close friends, among them the poet and Nobel Laureate Jaroslav Seifert, many painters and writers, but also scientists, doctors, politicians, architects, actors and other important public figures in Czechoslovakia. Portraits, the second volume of Sudek's collected photographs, gathers this body of work. In addition to a chronology of Sudek's life, it includes a complete bibliography and list of his exhibitions, as well as an interview with Jan Rezác, Sudek's colleague and an expert on his work."

Miguel Calderón, Till The Day I Die
Paperback, $24.95
"When Miguel Calderón's grandfather died he left Calderón a box of unexplained images, photographs and newspaper cut-outs of a man with various women. Calderon's republication of that material intermixes it with aphorisims from Mexican writer Guillermo Fadanelli and excerpts from Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater. Without pretense or judgments, the artist presents the intimate, unsolved mystery of a loved one gone."

Carlo Mollino, Casa del Sole
Hardcover, $39.95

"Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic, Carlo Mollino once said, accurately describing his attitude towards design and architecture. Known as one of the most versatile architects of the twentieth century, Mollino, an amazing sportsman and inspiring creative force in many fields, designed a 23-apartment, Modernist ski chalet called Casa del Sole (House of the Sun) in Cevinia, Italy, in 1947. It is a perfect example of the lively complexity typical of his work. This beautifully produced, clothbound volume with a tipped-on cover image develops as a sort of architectural novel, including drawings, photographs and writings by Mollino about the design and building process.
When it was built, Casa del Sole proposed to create modern yet economic housing that would help develop tourism in the Italian Alps after the Second World War--an extremely difficult period in that country's history. The architecturally sophisticated building was furnished very minimally, and pushed the conceptual vanguard of the time with its pared-down lines and use of basic industrial building materials. Later, the penthouse of the building was inhabited by the famous Austrian skier Leo Gasperl, the fastest man in the sport between 1932 and 1947. Mollino, also a passionate skier, an instructor and the author of a 334-page manual on ski technique, dreamed of a functional, disciplined building for the sportsman--a Modernist concrete structure utilizing the traditional stone and wood constructions of northern Italy."

Sally Mann, Still Time
Paperback, $24.95

"Still Time features 60 photographs from several series ranging from 1971 to 1996. Included are Mann's powerful and well-known series At Twelve and Immediate Family and lesser-known landscapes, still lifes and portraits, many of which are executed in platinum, Cibachrome or Polaroid. The exhibition ends with large-scale landscapes that currently occupy the photographer's time.
At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women is a revealing collective portrait of girls on the verge of adulthood. Like all of Mann's work the series was photographed in Rockbridge County, Virginia, (near Lexington) where she grew up and where she intends always to live. A sense of place pervades Mann's images. She describes the area as one of "rare serenity and innocence" and continues, "the same conservatism that has so gracefully preserved this land in a near time-warp has also, to a certain extent, retarded our awareness of the outside world." In this close-knit community, where Mann's father was the respected local doctor, the artist is accorded a level of trust which may seem unusual to some. With the cooperation of these young girls and their families, she portrays the dichotomies of this precarious age, the sweetness and the impending realities - the only girl on a boy's softball team, a young girl in her first formal dress, a girl pictured with her mother's boyfriend (who Mann later learned was molesting her).
Of equal intensity are the works that are united in Immediate Family. Begun in 1984 (one year after At Twelve), the series documents the growth of Mann's children over more than 10 years. Emmett, Jessie and Virginia, who have become familiar figures to thousands of viewers who they will never meet, are growing up in much the same way as their mother did. In her compelling introduction to Immediate Family, Mann discusses the constancy of her birthplace and her history - the women for whom her daughters are named and her eccentric father who decorated the gardens with carvings of tree gods.
Still Time allows for a rare insight into the development of Mann's art both before and after these momentous series. Sally Mann's career in photography began in 1969 when she took her first shots while at Vermont Putney School. She studied with Norman Sieff at Bennington College and received her B.A. and M.A. from Hollins College in her native Virginia. From this time on, Mann's pictures take on a diaristic quality, reflecting stages of her life as an artist and mother. The earliest works in the exhibition are part of her first series, Dream Sequence (1971). A thoughtful examination of the female psyche, these prints introduce the viewer to the complex world of relationships between women and girls, a subject that Mann would pursue in later works. The lushness of the Shenandoah Valley is portrayed in early landscapes dating from 1972 to 1974. The last of these images were taken with a hundred-year-old 8 x 10 camera that was given to Mann by a friend. The 8 x 10 would become Mann's camera of choice. These early landscapes show the distinctive vignetting that results from using a lens which does not completely cover the film plane." Brown University

Robert Frank, One Hour
Hardcover, $14.95

"C'est vrai! (One Hour) is a single-take of Robert Frank and actor Kevin O'Connor walking and riding in the back of a minivan through lower Manhattan. Shot between 3:45 and 4:45 p.m. on July 26, 1990, it appears to document a journey, but this little and little-known book, first issued by Hanuman in 1992, reveals it to have had a script (by Frank and his assistant, Michal Rovner) and enough actors (27) and crew to fill two pages of credits. Frank also acknowledges that a conversation heard in a diner is written by Mika Moses, but that Peter Orlovsky's crucial plot-turning lines, intercepted by Frank roughly halfway through the hour, in front of the Angelika Cinema on Houston Street, are "total improvisation." C'est Vrai is published as a part of a long-term program to re-issue all of Frank's works; the film will also be issued as a DVD within Robert Frank: The Complete Film Works."

Cai Guo-Qiang, Light Cycle
Explosion Project for Central Park
Hardcover accordion book, $24.95

"Commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Central Park, Cai's Light Cycle fireworks display lit the New York sky with a circle of explosions on a September night in 2003. This 24-page accordion book documents it all from planning to performance, executed by the famous Grucci fireworks family. Separating the book's hardbound cloth covers reveals a continuous folded sheet with reproductions of Cai's gunpowder drawings (made by burning scant gunpowder on paper) on one side and photographs of the event and text on the other. In an interview, the artist compares his drawings to “love-making” and explains some technical aspects of his displays, such as a computer chip in each explosive shell."

Lisette Model
Hardcover, $39.95

"Lisette Model is an unsurpassed introduction to one of the twentieth century's most significant photographers--a woman whose searing images and eloquent teachings deeply influenced her students Diane Arbus, Larry Fink and many others. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Model's death in 1983, Aperture is reissuing this classic, highly collectible 1979 monograph--the first book ever published on Model--in the original oversized trim and with the original distinctive design by Marvin Israel, along with an updated chronology and bibliography. This timeless volume contains more than 50 of Model's greatest images, from the rich idlers on the Promenade des Anglais in the South of France to the sad, funny and often eccentric inhabitants of New York's most subterranean haunts. As Berenice Abbott said in her preface, "One of the first reactions when looking at Model's pictures is that they make you feel good. You recognize them as real because real people express a bit of the universal humanity in all of us."

Jeff Wall
Hardcover, $65.00

"Standing almost 14 inches wide by 20 inches tall, this exquisitely produced volume affords readers an unprecedented opportunity to study the work of the important Canadian artist/photographer Jeff Wall at the large scale for which his work is known. Informed by conceptual art, historical painting and avant-garde film, Wall began to produce large-format color transparencies, presented on light-boxes, in the late 1970s--a format that has become strongly identified with his work. This volume includes recent examples of this work, as well as large black-and-white prints--a format first incorporated into Wall’s practice in 1996.
Wall divides his photographs into two categories: documentary and cinematographic. A documentary photograph for Wall is tied to the traditional understanding of this term--a depiction of a specific time and place, without any overt manipulation on his part. A cinematographic photograph involves some form of intervention or restructuring by the artist. This category has ranged from slight movements of elements within a given situation to more elaborate approaches that involve the construction of sets and other aspects of stagecraft. Wall is best known for his cinematographic photographs, which have had a large influence on the expansion of notions of how the medium can be engaged. Rich in references to the natural environment and distinct urban character of Vancouver, where the artist lives and works, the photographs reproduced in this volume were primarily produced during the last seven years. Also available in a signed and numbered limited edition."

Fashion Magazine by Alec Soth
Paperback, $29.95

"In this beautifully produced third issue of the international art/fashion collectible Fashion Magazine, the acclaimed American photographer Alec Soth plays Editor-in-Chief, Advertising Director and sole photographic contributor--to quietly mesmerizing results. Featuring exquisite printing, unexpected gatefolds, special inks, varnishes and paper changes, this magazine-as-artist's-book-as-sociological-study-as-tongue-in-cheek-(yet-also-very-real)-advertising-vehicle contains some of the most riveting work being produced by a young photographer today. Soth explains: "While Fashion Magazine has a single photographer-author, it's still a magazine, not a book. So it doesn't follow my usual mode of slow, solitary production. It's collaboration. The ideas for the collaboration were formulated very quickly. I was approached by the folks at the Paris office of Magnum to work on this issue late last year. I immediately said yes. I was a huge fan of the previous two editions (by Martin Parr and Bruce Gilden) and was looking for an excuse to play with fashion…. I often say that when I am making a portrait, I'm not 'capturing' the other person. If the photograph documents anything, it is the space between the subject and myself. Something similar is at work with Fashion Magazine. I'm not really comfortable saying I know anything about Paris or its fashion world. And I suspect that most fashionable Parisians know just as little about Minnesota. What is interesting is the space between us. My favorite example of this involves Chanel. In Paris, I photographed Karl Lagerfeld at the Grand Palais. In Minnesota, I photographed a girl with a Chanel shopping bag in front of Sally's Beauty Shop. With this magazine, I'm trying to explore the distance between those two places."
Photographer Alec Soth was born in 1969 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he continues to live and work. He is the recipient of major fellowships from the McKnight and Jerome Foundations, and was awarded the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography. His photographs are represented in major public collections including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Soth's widely acclaimed first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004, followed by Niagara and Dog Days Bogotá in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Soth is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York and Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis. He is an associate photographer with Magnum Photos."

Thomas Ruff, Surfaces, Depths
Hardcover, $29.95
"Surfaces, Depths is a representative selection of Thomas Ruff's works, over a period that already spans about 25 years, with projects ranging from portraits and interiors to telescope and space probe pictures and "nightsight" photography. Ruff incorporates an extremely wide range of everyday subjects into his experiments--people, architecture, planets, the Internet--and subjects them to all forms of camera technology, so that his work often seems to embody the history of the art as it develops. Ruff has a particular fascination with photographic techniques that appear to erase or leave out the artist's hand, techniques often designed for military or scientific purposes. In a recent series titled Zycles, for example, Ruff constructs his images with the help of mathematical formulas and computer technology, twisting two-dimensional surfaces into the three-dimensional space of vector graphics. Surfaces and Depths focuses on ten of Ruff's total of 18 projects to address this particular ongoing preoccupation with artistic detachment, and the polarities of surface and depth vision in the construction of images. In doing so, it makes the broadest assessment to date of the oeuvre of this tireless innovator."

Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume, Photographs by Don James, 1936-1942
Hardcover, $24.95

"Back in print and available from D.A.P. for the first time, this beloved best-seller tells the story of the heady and innocent years of Santa Monica's nascent surf scene just prior to America's entry into World War II. Beautifully designed, this intimate, album-sized collection of photographs, printed in rich duotones and evocative color, captures the optimism and experimentation, the styles, the flirtatiousness and the freedoms taken--all from an insider's point of view. They were made by the young Don James, a teenager who documented the scene with his father's old Kodak folding camera when he wasn't up on a longboard himself. Out in the surf, down on the sand, aboard somebody's boat, dancing around a campfire, back-flipping off the lifeguard stand, collecting lobster, drinking at the bar and generally wearing as little as possible, here are the regulars of the southern California beach scene, un-self-conscious and perpetually glamorous, alongside loving portraits of the beach and the ocean themselves."

Anselm Kiefer, Maria Walks amid the Thorn
Hardcover, SOLD!

"Published to accompany German Expressionist Anselm Kiefer's 2008 exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, this exquisitely produced volume features black-and-white documentary photographs of the artist and his fabled indoor-outdoor Paris studio, a very generous selection of color reproductions and details and an insightful interview of Kiefer by Klaus Dermutz. The work itself is a cycle of roughly 30 paintings and one sculpture from 2007 and 2008 that deal with the biblical figure of the Virgin Mary. Its title, which translates as Maria Walks amid the Thorn, refers to an old German Christmas carol that has been popular for the better part of the past century. Some of the works in this important new cycle were started in the 1970s and completed in recent months with Keifer's unique "sedimenting" method."

Leadbelly, A Life In Pictures
Hardcover, $39.95

"Here is a treasure trove of rare unpublished family and other photographs, news clippings, concert programs, personal correspondence (including letters from Woody Guthrie), record albums, awards and other memorabilia, some only recently discovered in a basement trunk in New York where Lead Belly’s wife kept everything all these years neatly tucked away. There was even the cherished bottle of Chanel No. 5 that Lead Belly had brought her back from Paris. "My wife is half my life; my guitar is the other half" said Lead Belly."

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1 comment:

Canvas Dezign said...

Great, wonderful photos from a genius just born to use a camera in the wonderful art of photography.
Well Done.