Friday, May 18, 2012

New Arrivals: Photography


Bruce Davidson, Subway
Hardcover

Bruce Davidson's groundbreaking Subway, first published by Aperture in 1986, has garnered critical acclaim both as a documentation of a unique moment in the cultural fabric of New York City and for its phenomenal use of extremes of color and shadow set against flash-lit skin. In Davidson's own words, “the people in the subway, their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks and closed off from each other.” In this third edition of what is now a classic of photographic literature, a sequence of 118 (including 25 previously unpublished) images transport the viewer through a landscape at times menacing, and at other times lyrical and soulful. The images present the full gamut of New Yorkers, from weary straphangers and languorous ladies in summer dresses to stalking predators and homeless persons. Davidson's accompanying text tells the story behind the images, clarifying his method and dramatizing his obsession with the subway, its rhythms and its particular madness. Bruce Davidson (born 1933) is considered one of America's most influential documentary photographers. He began taking photographs when he was ten, and studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Yale University School of Design. In 1958 he became a member of Magnum Photos, and in 1962 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to document the civil rights movement. After a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1963, Davidson spent two years photographing in Harlem, resulting in the book East 100th Street. In 1980, after living in New York City for 23 years, Davidson began Subway, his startling color essay of urban life.







Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans – Expanded Edition
Hardcover

First published in France in 1958, then in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank’s The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In eighty-three photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter - cars, jukeboxes, and even the road itself - that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally, and linguistically, that made The Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was fifty years ago. Published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Looking In: Robert Frank's “The Americans” celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of this prescient book. Drawing on newly examined archival sources, it provides a fascinating in-depth examination of the making of the photographs and the book’s construction, using vintage contact sheets, work prints, and letters that literally chart Frank's journey around the country on a Guggenheim grant in 1955 –1956. Curator and editor Sarah Greenough and her colleagues also explore the roots of The Americans in Frank's earlier books, which are abundantly illustrated here, and in books by photographers Walker Evans, Bill Brandt, and others. The eighty-three original photographs from The Americans are presented in sequence in as near vintage prints as possible. The catalogue concludes with an examination of Frank's later reinterpretations and deconstructions of The Americans, bringing full circle the history of this resounding entry in the annals of photography.




Taryn Simon, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar
Hardcover
SOLD!
"In An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Taryn Simon documents spaces that are integral to America’s foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience. She has photographed rarely seen sites from domains including: science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security and religion. This index examines subjects that, while provocative or controversial, are currently legal. The work responds to a desire to discover unknown territories, to see everything. Simon makes use of the annotated-photograph’s capacity to engage and inform the public. Transforming that which is off-limits or under-the-radar into a visible and intelligible form, she confronts the divide between the privileged access of the few and the limited access of the public. Photographed with a large format view camera (except when prohibited), Simon’s 70 color plates form a seductive collection that reflects and reveals a national identity."


Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Hardcover

Family man, optician, avid reader and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard created and explored a fantasy world of dolls and masks, in which his family and friends played the central roles on an ever-changing stage. His monograph, The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, published posthumously in 1974, recorded his wife and family posed in various disquieting settings, wearing masks and holding dolls and evoking a penetrating emotional and psychological landscape. The book won his work critical acclaim and has been hugely influential in the intervening decades. Dolls and Masks opens the doors on the decade of rich experimentation that immediately preceded the production of his final opus, The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, this handsome book presents more than 70 never-before-seen works from the Meatyard Archive, greatly expanding our understanding of Meatyard's elusive and captivating genius. Writer and historian Eugenia Parry and curator Elizabeth Siegel contribute essays that set the stage for this foray into the unknown work of one of the last century's most intriguing photographers. Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) attended Williams College as part of the Navy's V12 program in World War II. Following the war, he married, became a licensed optician and moved to Lexington, Kentucky. When the first of his three children was born, Meatyard bought a camera to make pictures of the baby. Photography quickly became a consuming interest. He joined the Lexington Camera Club, where he met Van Deren Coke, under whose encouragement he soon developed into a powerfully original photographer. Meatyard's work is housed at the Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, Smithsonian Institution and many other important collections.



These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday 
 


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