Latest Photobooks: Groebli, Frances Scott, Mark Neville, Maria Lax, Ansel Adams & more
Rene Groebli | The Magic Eye
We start with books by two of the greatest Swiss photographers, published by the Bildhalle in Zurich. The first offers a rare chance to get a signed book by Rene Groebli, still going strong at 92 years old. The Magic Eye presents the highlights of Groebli’s 60-year career. Without being an avant-garde photographer, he was nevertheless tirelessly experimental in black-and-white and colour. Early work includes Rail Magic and The Eye of Love – beautiful images of his wife on their honeymoon in Paris in 1952. There are images of London in the 1940s and New York in the 1970s as well as many of his hometown of Zurich and his house in France. Sample images.
Willy Spiller | Zurich 1967-76
Born 20 years after Groebli, Willy Spiller is another Zurich native, probably best known internationally for his colour photographs of the New York subway in the 1970s and 1980s when it was reputed to be one of the most dangerous places in the world. Published as Hell on Wheels, it’s out of print unfortunately and much sought after. His earlier photos in Zurich 1967-76, taken when he was in his twenties, have the same exuberant quality as his New York work: images of street life, cafes and bars, industry, protests and counter-culture. We will have signed copies. Sample images.
Issei Suda | 78
Chose Commune had been working with the great Japanese photographer Issei Suda on a new book shortly before his death in March 2019. The resulting 78 had to be completed after his death. It presents a selection of unseen photographs from the Suda archive. Shot between 1971 and 1983, these photographs have never been published before. The majority are of adults, children and animals in the streets of Tokyo. See our webpage for sample images.
Claudine Doury | Amour
Also from Chose Commune comes Amour, a summary of Claudine Doury’s 30-year relationship with the land and people around the Amur River in Siberia. The close bonds she built with the local families are evident in these poetic images in colour and black-and-white. Sample images and article.
Frances Scott | Undertow
Next two titles from the excellent Another Place Press. Undertow documents the changing relationship between an islander and her home, as Frances Scott walks the coastlines of Orkney. The Mainland took her two years to complete; the rest may take a lifetime. The black-and-white images are of ‘unspoilt’ land- and sea-scapes and of the many human artefacts that have left their mark. Sample images.
Dan Wood | Suicide Machine
Suicide Machine is APP’s second title by Dan Wood. A native and resident of Bridgend in South Wales, Wood wanted to investigate the town’s reputation for a high level of suicides, especially among young people. The colour streetscapes and environmental portraits suggest the potential for hope and pride amid the deprivations of small-town life. Sample images.
Mark Neville | Parade
Starting the day on which the UK voted to leave the European Union, Mark Neville’ Parade was photographed over a three year period, within a 30km radius of the town of Guingamp in Brittany – renowned across France for the local football team’s giant-killing feats. The suggestion of a small-town idyll stands in stark contrast to Wood’s depiction of Bridgend, though perhaps the artifice of Neville's portraits calls that suggestion into question. (There’s also a dog sitting happily on top of a pony!) Sample images.
Maria Lax | Some Kind of Heavenly Fire
Maria Lax investigates yet another small town, hers being the one where she was born in northern Finland. She only became aware later in life that in the 1960s the town had been associated with UFO sightings. These “coincided with a time of great struggle for Northern Finland. People flooded from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs leaving abandoned houses scattered across this beautiful but harsh landscape. It’s no wonder that the UFO sightings embodied a fear of the future, the unknown and the inexorable shift in lifestyles and livelihoods going on around them.” In Some Kind of Heavenly Fire, Lax goes back to the town to construct images that suggest the fear and fascination of that time. We will have signed copies. Sample images.
Alexey Titarenko | Nomenklatura of Signs
Nomenklatura of Signs is the first proper publication of a series of images created by Alexey Titarenko in the 1980s deconstructing the iconography of Soviet culture and propaganda, suggesting its imminent demise. These striking works were clearly inspired by the avantgarde Russian artists of an earlier time such as Malevich and Rodchenko. Sample images.
Stephen Shore | American Surfaces
Phaidon will shortly be bringing out a new edition of American Surfaces, one of Stephen Shore’s most significant works. Its use of colour film to document “the extraordinary in the ordinary” has been an enormous influence of subsequent generations of photographers. This new edition comes with additional images and a new introduction. See our webpage for sample images.
Stephen Shore | Transparencies
In a recent newsletter we wrote about Mack’s recent publication of Shore’s Transparencies. At the time, it wasn’t clear if we were going to be able to get signed stock. Now I can confirm that we will be getting signed copies – unfortunately these will not be available till late May. If you don’t want to wait till then, unsigned copies are available now.
Ansel Adams | Making a Photographer: The Early Work
Ansel Adams is famous for his dramatic photographs of the American West. Although many of Adams’s images are now iconic, his early work has remained largely unknown. In Making a Photographer: the early work, Rebecca A. Senf argues that these early photographs are crucial to understanding Adams’s artistic development and offer new insights into many aspects of the artist’s mature output.
Mayumi Hosokura | New Skin
Mayumi Hosokura's New Skin has its origin is one single, large-scale digital collage which Hosokura created using clippings from old gay magazines, statues, and found selfies, together with her own photographs — specifically choosing to use images of male figures only. We will have signed copies. Sample images.
Proof: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet
The late Cleveland collector Mark Schwartz built a comprehensive collection of contact sheets which opens a window on the aims and methods of a broad range of photographers at work during the second half of the 20th century. Proof: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet features approximately 180 works from the collection, notably by Arbus, Avedon, Benson, Callahan, Frank, Halsman, Penn, Fink and Gowin. Sample images.