Sunday, December 30, 2012
Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life. By Micah Lidberg. Nobrow Press, 2010. 10pp., illustrated throughout, 8,8x5,4" (folds out to 53"/136cm).
" 'Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life' is Micah Lidberg’s first book and debut collaboration with Nobrow Press.
The beautiful concertina book folds out to a stunning 136 cm panorama detailing the demise of some of our planet’s most dominant and long standing occupants only to be replaced by another group of breastfeeding placental creatures that would come to reign over the globe millions of years later.
Micah’s seamless use of line and adeptness with a limited colour palette recalls the intricate patterns of traditional Japanese kimono design and the murals of 1930s New York Deco in a book that is really more of a work of art, to be coveted and cherished. The nature of the concertina book also means that it is easily displayed on your mantelpiece or shelving unit, and printed on heavy card stock, it will stand the test of time.
Micah Lidberg is a young artist living and working in New Jersey.
Having worked for the likes of the New York Times, Nylon magazine and Orion Books, he is also an avid storyteller and has produced a series of self published zines and comic books."
Monday, December 24, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
These are just three of the wonderful photographs of Stockholm through the years that you can view at Stockholmskällan.
Also see this lovely film: Instruction for the fight against snow and ice (1944-1946).
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
West and West. Reimagining the Great Plains. By Joe Deal. Center for American Places/University of Chicago Press, 2009. 112 pp., illustrated throughout, 10x11". Images from here.
Interesting thought-process and concept behind this book, I recognise myself in the immersion and abstraction with the process of taking a photograph.
"The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 officially opened the Great Plains to westward settlement, and the public survey of 1855 by Charles A. Manners and Joseph Ledlie along the Sixth Principal Meridian established the grid by which the uncharted expanse of the Great Plains was brought into scale.
The mechanical act performed by land surveyors is believed by photographer Joe Deal to be powerfully similar to the artistic act of making a photograph. To Deal, both acts are about establishing a frame around a vast scene that suggests no definite boundaries of its own.
Thus, when approaching his own photographs of the Great Plains, Deal viewed his photography as a form of reenactment, a method of understanding how it felt to contain the Great Plains in smaller, more measurable units.
In 'West and West', Deal, who was born and raised in Kansas, revisited the Kansas-Nebraska territory and applied his photographic understanding of the landscape grid and horizon line to illuminate the sense of infinite space that transcends the reality of the survey.
As Deal writes in his concluding essay: 'If the square, as employed in the surveys of public lands, could function like a telescope, framing smaller and smaller sections of the plains down to a transect, it can also be used as a window, equilaterally divided by the horizon, that begins with a finite section of the earth and sky and restores them in the imagination to the vastness that now exists as an idea: the landscape that is contained within the perfect symmetry of the square implies infinity'.
The stunning photographs in 'West and West' present the Great Plains from a rare perspective. From this vantage point, Deal is able to distill and contemplate its expanse."
More here, here, here.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Waiting, Sitting, Fishing and Some Automobiles. By Anthony Hernandez. Essay by Gerry Badger. Loosestrife Editions, 2007. 264 pp., illustrated throughout, 13,25x11,75" (gatefold opening to 13x19"). Edition of 1000 copies. Images from here.
"The photographs in this book are drawn from four bodies of work made with the 5' x 7' view camera between 1979 and 1983.
Broadly speaking, it shows as Lewis Baltz said, people waiting and taking 'very, very humble recreations.' The four image groups making up the book are people waiting at bus stops, people lunching or sitting in public spaces, people at public fishing areas, and automobile repair shops.
There are two primary elements in these photographs. They might be characterized as the visible and the invisible - or the depicted and the inferred.
The depicted might be considered the lighter side to Hernandez's imagery - the city itself - the inferred the darker - its social realities. And in this his work mirrors Los Angeles, a city of light and shadow, a city that promotes vigorously an image of sun and Hollywood glamour, yet is arguably the most socially divided city in America, a sunny city with a dark heart at street level."
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Le Bloc Noir. By Emmanuelle Pidoux. Nieves, 2012. 24pp., illustrated throughout, 14x20cm. Edition of 100 copies.
"Emmanuelle Pidoux lives and works in Dunkerque, France. She runs with Frédéric Fleury a publishing house called editions of 57, and is one of the founding members of the famous Frederic Magazine drawing collective. Born in 1970, and active as an artist since the 90s, her drawings can be found in more than one hundred zines and books.
'Le Bloc Noir' combines drawings of fields, landscapes, spread like devastated feelings. Spaces deprived of human bodies, catching the decay of life. The Black is darkness. The Block is a wall, a mountain, a rock. All is abstruseness and desolation. We’re like in an armor, nothing happens any longer. (Translation by Hélène Laurent)"
Monday, December 10, 2012
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
"In 2003, Obata was compelled to photograph winter scenes in Japan as he stood in front of Pieter Bruegel's painting 'The Hunters in the Snow' in Vienna's Museum of Art History.
Upon returning to Japan, he traveled to the country's northernmost island, Hokkaidō, known for its cold and snowy winters. As he worked there photographing ice skaters at a middle school rink and a local speed skating team, his enchantment with images of winter deepened.
Traveling around different regions of the island in winter, he began noticing the varied qualities of the snow itself, and finally became fascinated with the unique challenge of photographing snowflakes.
Obata drew inspiration from the story and works of W.A. Bentley, an American farmer and photographer who adapted a camera and microscope to photograph a single snow crystal for the first time in 1885. Bentley went on to photograph more than 5,000 snowflakes in his lifetime, and his technique was so successful that it continues to be used today.
Like Bentley, Obata was obsessed with the challenge of doing something no one had done before - in his case photographing snowflakes in freefall rather than on a flat surface without digital or any other manipulation. It took Obata five years to achieve but his breakthrough resulted in the capture of pictures that allow the snowflakes to relate to each other in space and size, creating dynamic compositions and scenes.
Obata chose the location to shoot the series, in the mountains of Hokkaidō, based on its history as the place where Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya did research that led to his invention of artificial snow.
His most recent book 'Wintertale' gathers his photographs of winter, and has garnered interest around the world for its poetic depiction of a fleeting season."
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
" 'The Wolf's Whistle' tells the rather sad story of what could have happened before the well known fairy tale of the 'Three Little Pigs'.
Perhaps 'The Big Bad Wolf' had a perfectly good reason for blowing down those houses? Perhaps he wasn't such a nasty character after all?
The book is lovingly printed in three spot colours, red yellow and blue (a little tip of the hat to Theo Von Doesburg)."
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio. By Laurie Lambrecht, with a foreword by Dorothy Lichtenstein and an essay by Edward Robinson. Monacelli Press, 2011. 128 pp., illustrated thoughout, 9,8x9,8". Images from here.
I appreciate and value Lichtenstein's contribution to art, but I must say I'm not personally that intrigued. I am however absolutely entranced by his studio and process, which I've previously been fortunate to see in various documentaries, and this book gives us further insight into.
" 'Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio' is a portfolio of vivid and engaging photographs by Laurie Lambrecht, who was an administrative assistant to Lichtenstein for three years. She and the artist worked together daily, and the bond between them is evident in the photographs.
Lichtenstein is shown working on two major series, 'Reflections' and 'The Interiors'. He is completely absorbed, oblivious to the camera, as he mounts ladders, assembles colors, composes, and steps back to consider the effect.
During this period Lambrecht assisted in gathering material for a major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. As a result, the photographs include scrapbooks and sketchbooks and other archival material that document Lichtenstein’s entire career.
There are stencils of Ben-Day dots, clippings from newspapers and comic books, Polaroid snapshots, rolls of tape, and boxes of colored pencils.
Lichtenstein encouraged Lambrecht to make photographs and was often pleased and amused by the results. These images offer fascinating insight into Lichtenstein’s working processes and source materials, as well as being vibrant works of art in their own right.
In her essay Dorothy Lichtenstein, wife of the artist, recalls the collegial atmosphere of the studios in New York and Southampton in the early 1990s, a time of extraordinary productivity. Edward Robinson, an associate curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, describes Lambrecht’s process and approach."
Monday, November 26, 2012
Du: Part Two. By Robert Frank. Scalo Verlag, 2003. 100 pp., illustrated throughout, 9x13".
"Forty years after it first published an issue on legendary photographer Robert Frank, the Swiss magazine du is publishing Part Two.
For years, the editors of 'du' have talked about collaborating once again with the most important living Swiss photographer (Frank was born in Zurich in 1924).
Though the photographer has long since finished with photo journalism, dedicating himself, since 1962, to filmmaking, he has made here a magical exception. Together with 'du', Frank has developed an idea for an issue that stretches the concept of photography to its limits.
An all-encompassing self-examination, sometimes looking back with melancholia, sometimes moving ahead with a visionary impetus, this publication assembles classic images, new Polaroid works, traces of thoughts, rediscoveries of never-before-shown photographs, and visual diary notes, together with Frank's selections of favorite texts by Kerouac, Burroughs, and Elio Vittorini."
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real). By Lewis Chaplin. Lewis Chaplin, 2010. 64 pp., illustrated throughout, 21x29,7cm. Edition of 150 (numbered) copies.
"I think it was the first time I realized that I can change the world,
Or at least change the way you and my sister hit the clock on every tick just to see what happened. The time has really flown by I guess and it's hard to think of the way it might've been or remember very specifically the words and all the rest of it.
I was down, more than i wanted to be probably.
That is what we do with it all together,
Like the orange trees in the backyard and it's Easter and it just won't end.
Fucking Phil, he's off with his boys somewhere and I'm just sitting here getting more and more lost with everything.
And that was the thing about it, it's not as if a cousin promised something and taken it away.
It was like nobody could share my so-called dreams, which really meant none of it was happening.
And that reach around midnight left her with just about that, nothing.
There's not anything particular about it either and I think the whole thing gets vaguer every second,
But I am too and there's nothing wrong with that.
It's even funny when you stop to realize i'm just nineteen,
And how serious can anything be anyway? Not very.
'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' is a book of new work from 2010. It's a selection of photos coupled with found words and objects - putting the sourced and decontextualised alongside original works."
Monday, November 19, 2012
Performing/Guzzling. By Kim Gordon. Nieves and Rizzoli, 2010. 144pp., illustrated throughout, 22x30cm. First edition, with a signed print by the artist.
"Renowned for her work with the band Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon is also an accomplished painter and artist.
The watercolors in this artist book are inspired by on-stage performances where the faces in the audience become a dreamy and ethereal blur of color.
In all her work there is an energy and vibrancy - newspaper paintings, word paintings, and photographs become canvases for stains and slashes of color.
Collaborating with publisher Rizzoli, Nieves is proud to present Kim Gordon's 'Performing/Guzzling'. With hands-on treatment from the artist herself from layout to design, this monograph contains a series of her watercolors, mixed-media collages and personal lyrics. Reflections about Gordon and her work from artist Jutta Koether and writer Hilton Als add to the personal tone of the book.
The first printing of 'Performing/Guzzling' contains each a signed print by Kim Gordon ensuring that this volume will be coveted by art lovers, artist book collectors and fans of her music alike.
'Performing/Guzzling' is the first in a series of books by Nieves and Rizzoli that consists of books by artists, photographers, and designers who have substantially contributed to the texture of artistic culture. Each project will be an extension of the artist’s portfolio."
Monday, November 12, 2012
Friday, November 09, 2012
From Above and Below. By Sharon Harper, text by Jimena Canales and Phillip Prodger. Radius Books, 2012. 120 pp., illustrated throughout, 14x11". Images from here.
" 'From Above and Below' features ten years of Sharon Harper’s conceptual photographs and video stills exploring perception, technology and the night sky.
Her experimental images of the moon, stars and sun draw on scientific and artistic uses of photography to illuminate the medium’s contradictory ability to both verify empirical evidence and to create poetic connections between our environment and ourselves.
The book features essays by Jimena Canales and Phillip Prodger and work from seven distinct series: Moonfall (As Imagined by the Off-Duty Ferryman in flight over the River Styx), 2001, Moon Studies and Star Scratches, 2003-2008, One Month, Weather Permitting, 2009, and Twelve Hours from Winter and Spring, 2009, Sun/Moon (Trying to See through a Telescope), 2010-Ongoing, and stills from the video piece Landshift, 2012."
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Liquid Light 1983-2003. By Fabien Baron. Steidl, 2008. 192 pp., illustrated throughout, 33,7x27,5cm.
" 'Liquid Light 1983–2003' is a single-volume monograph assembled from the personal work of Fabien Baron. Spanning twenty years and two continents, the collection draws from over 2,000 photographs taken on the coasts of Eastern America, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean.
As the title suggests, the book chronicles Baron’s transformation of concrete, geographical sites into abstract tableaux.
Utilizing long exposure for each image, Baron reveals the most essential aspect of his subject matter: light.
Returning year after year to each location, Baron achieves a meditative rhythm that is readily apparent when the work is viewed sequentially. While each image varies infinitely in detail - weather, hour, and light change, as do lenses and film stock - they all maintain a fundamental composition: water and sky bisected by horizon. The horizon line, a crucial element in the photograph, defines color planes free of a visual hierarchy.
The viewer is released from conventional, figurative ways of seeing. Subtle gradations in color and tone offset the repetition of form, creating abstract vistas where sea and sky are one and the same.
The images are deceptively still: chromatic abstractions gleaned from a sea and a sky that are never stationary and never entirely empty. Above all, the photographs reflect the state in which they were produced - one of internal calm and meditation - and the book’s structure echoes this."