1.01.2011

BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS OF 2010

















I was invited to submit my top 10 choices for photo-eye Magazine's annual "Best Photography Books of 2010", along with other contributors from Todd Hido - whose book A Road Divided (Nazraeli Press) I now wish I had included in my top 10, Alan Rapp, Larissa Leclair, Bruno Ceschel, Melanie McWhorter and many more. I had a hard time keeping my list down to 10 choices, so I'm posting all of the books I would have liked to list - not in any favored order:

LEE FRIEDLANDER - America By Car | DAP/FRAENKEL "Driving across most of the country’s 50 states in an ordinary rental car, Friedlander applied the brilliantly simple conceit of deploying the sideview mirror, rearview mirror, the windshield and the side windows as a picture frame within which to record the country’s eccentricities and obsessions at the turn of the century. Never has America been photographed so penetratingly and ingeniously as in Friedlander’s latest body of work."–Publisher

SALLY MANN - The Flesh and the Spirit | APERTURE "One of the apparent paradoxes in Sally Mann's work is her desire to show what lies beyond vision by using a medium invented to record reality's surface"– John B. Ravenal. This publication accompanied a significant exhibition of Sally Mann's photography in the special exhibition galleries of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's new McGlothlin Wing. The "Untitled (Self Portraits), 2006-7" make this one of my most treasured books.

TOD PAPAGEORGE - Opera Citta' | PUNCTUM PRESS "...Tod Papageorge imagines this book to be something like a photographic stepchild of one of Calvino's invisible cities, conjured up by a camera out of bits and pieces of a place called Rome..." Papageorge, the Walker Evans Professor of Photography and Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at the Yale School of Art, (and my first formal photography teacher), was invited to Rome to work for a month on the Rome Commission. In this perfect little book of color photographs, curated by Marco Delogu and designed by Nicola Scavalli, are some of my favorite Papageorge images (a cringe worthy charge, I'm sure)...read more

EUGENE SMITH - The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of Eugene Smith From 821 Sixth Avenue 1957 - 1965 | KNOPF 821 Sixth Avenue was a late night haunt of musicians–Charles Mingus, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, and Thelonius Monk among them. Between 1957-1965, Smith, then a 38 year old former Life Magazine photographer, shot 1,447 rolls of film at his 821 Sixth Avenue loft, roughly 40,000 pictures, the largest body of work of his career. "Smith made several hundred photographs through the broken windowpane. The cracked window was a kind of aperture, and a metaphor." Buy the book-it's incredible!

CHRIS VERENE - Family | TWIN PALMS
Chris Verene follows the lives of his family and friends. The titles to his photographs tell the whole great story of what I love about his work; "My Twin Cousin's Husband's Brother's Cousin's Cousins"; "The Same Day They Signed The Divorce Papers, A Tornado Hit The House"...read more

ZWELETHU MTHETHWA | APERTURE His portraits are stunning! Photographing in urban and rural industrial landscapes, Mthethwa documents a range of aspects in present-day South Africa, from domestic life and the environment to landscape and labor issues...read more

WILLIAM EGGLESTON - For Now | TWIN PALMS ‘This monograph is the result of film-maker Michael Almereyda’s year-long search through the Eggleston archives, a remarkable collection of heretofore unseen images spanning four decades of work. Unusual in its concentration on family and friends, the book highlights an air of offhand intimacy, typical of Eggleston and typically surprising. Eggleston remarked “the book comes close to being a family album.”...read more on La Lettre

NICK BRANDT - On This Earth A Shadow Falls | BIG LIFE EDITIONS On This Earth, A Shadow Falls combines the best photographs from Nick Brandt's previous books. It features 36 images from On This Earth and 54 from A Shadow Falls and is the only publication where images from both books will appear in one volume, on a larger scale than the previous editions...read more

KENRO IZU - A Thirty Year Retrospective | NAZRAELI PRESS A book of treasures - priceless images of past civilizations. "A chance viewing of the mammoth plate photographs by the Victorian photographer Francis Frith led Izu to travel to Egypt in 1979, to photograph the pyramids and other sacred monuments. Thus began the artist’s renowned series “Sacred Places,” which includes work from holy sites in Syria, Jordan, England, Scotland, Mexico, Easter Island and, more recently, Buddhist and Hindu sites in India, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China...more about Kenro Izu

ALEX WEBB + REBECCA NORRIS WEBB - Violet Isle | RADIUS BOOKS "This multi-layered portrait of “the violet isle”—a little-known name for Cuba inspired by the rich color of the soil there—presents an engaging, at times unsettling document of a vibrant and vulnerable land. It combines two separate photographic visions: Alex Webb’s exploration of street life, with his attuned and complex attention to detail, and Rebecca Norris Webb’s fascination with the unique, quixotic collections of animals she discovered there, from tiny zoos and pigeon societies to hand-painted natural history displays and quirky personal menageries."

DANNY LYON - Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement | TWIN PALMS In Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Danny Lyon tells the compelling story of how a handful of dedicated young people, both black and white, forged one of the most successful grassroots organizations in American history. The book depicts some of the most violent and dramatic moments of Civil Rights Movement...read more

PAUL STRAND -
Paul Strand in Mexico | APERTURE Co-published with Fundación Televisa A.C., Mexico, 2010, this book documents the complete photographic works made by Strand during his 1932–34 trip to Mexico as well as a second journey in 1966—a total of 234 photographs, 123 of which have never before been published. Strand in Mexico tells the story of Strand's journeys through Mexico in the early 1930s. In search of a fresh start, Strand traveled to Mexico City in late 1932 at the invitation of Carlos Chávez, the eminent Mexican composer and conductor.

Street Photography Now | THAMES + HUDSON Jointly curated by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren, Street Photography Now presents 46 photographers noted for their everyday street, subway, and shopping mall scenes. Included are a few of Magnum's masters such as Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr and Alex Webb, along with new and emerging photographers work from New York to Dakar...more

RENATE ALLER - Oceanscapes | RADIUS BOOKS
"Aller has been photographing the Atlantic Ocean for over a decade, from a single point on Long Island's fabled coastline. Her images capture the shifting colors and textures of the sky and water, and the beauty and grandeur of the ocean, providing a rich document of what has made the Hamptons such an integral aspect of New York life. The sublime beauty of this Atlantic view, which Aller connects to the great nineteenth-century German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich."...more

RAGHU RAI - The Indians: Portraits from My Album. 150 Years of Portraiture In India | PENGUIN BOOKS INDIA "Raghu Rai has been in the forefront of photography in India for over 40 years. As a member of Magnum, he established an international reputation as a photographer with his special essay on the Bhopal Gas tragedy. Twenty-five of his photographs are held in the permanent collection of France's Bibliothque Nationale and in 1997 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi gave him the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of a contemporary Indian photographer." An upcoming piece on Indian Photography Books is coming up soon on La Lettre de la Photography.

ROSE-LYNN FISHER - Bee | PRINCETON ARCHITECTURAL PRESS Bee was a winner in the International Photography Awards 2010: Books/Nature. "Melding art and science, photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher puts this modern tool to creative use in order to reveal the microscopic majesty of these natural wonders. BEE presents sixty astonishing photographs of honeybee anatomy in magnifications ranging from 10x to 5000x. Rendered in stunning detail, Fisher's photographs uncover the strange beauty of the honeybee's pattern, form, and structure. Comprising 6,900 hexagonal lenses, their eyes resemble the structure of a honeycomb."...more

WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY - Kodachromes | APERTURE This book includes work from 1964 to 2007. "As in all of Christenberry's photographs, the subject matter is the rural Deep South: the twisting back roads, open landscapes, rusted signage and ramshackle vernacular architecture found in Hale County, Alabama. Though many of the sites pictured in this rare collection are new, other subjects have grown iconic in Christenberry's oeuvre as he has returned to photograph them over the decades--the red building in the forest, Sprott Church, the Palmist Sign and the Bar-B-Q Inn, among others."

12 comments:

Aleksandra said...

Once again,excellent post,thank you!

Susan May Tell said...

I need another bookcase!

Dallas Arts Salon said...

Wonderful list! Have a few. You have inspired me to get some others. Susan needs another bookcase. I will need a 2nd job! Thanks.

Michael Kirchoff said...

What an inspired list! Some I know of, but many I do not. If I go broke now I'm placing some of the blame on you Elizabeth! My addiction has been fueled!

Sally said...

A very happy 2011 to you.

Miss Kitty said...

Greetings Elizabeth,

This is a wonderful selection and it also serves nicely as a guide what to strive for in the creation of ones own art book.

Thank you for sharing your opinion with us.

Warmest regards,
Miss Kitty and Egmont

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Elizabeth, wonderful recommendations, there are some I'd love and some I must familiarise myself with. I know anything you suggest will be more than worth a look. Wishing you a fantastic 2011 xx

little augury said...

wonderful recommendations and have two purchased as of right now. thank you for you continued inspiring eye. Gaye

Larry the Artist said...

Great picks on the book choices. Can't wait to get into some of these.

Also, great blog to follow.

Rob said...

"America By Car" is so fine. More than "best of 2010," easily one of the best of the decade. And "The Jazz Loft" should be a required text for anyone who dreams of taking even one soulful photograph.

Poetry School said...

Thank you to tell us so much useful information. So nice sharing. I’m glad to read it.

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