Monday, December 31, 2007

Books for Spring 2008

2007 is just about over and although it has been mostly a year of sadness and death (Endless war! Antonioni Dead! Mailer Dead! Vonnegut Dead! Charles Nelson Reilly Dead! Bush is still breathing!), the world of photography books is alive and flourishing. And now that we have the next 11 months of political campaigning to look forward to, we will need something to keep our high blood pressure in check. I suggest…since you won’t be able to make the mortgage payments anyway, spend all your earnings on art and photography books. That’s a safe investment.

So this is a look ahead to 2008 at some titles that are to be published that look interesting and may deserve further investigation. We know what they say about judging books by their covers so I hope my excitement isn’t taken to the mat on a great number of these but here goes...

In the department of reissues, 2008 will see several. One that is long since overdue is Aperture’s new edition of Robert Adams’ The New West. So if you missed out on the 1974 original or those Walther Konig editions from 2000, now is your chance. This is a must have, sight unseen. Aperture also picked up Paul Fusco’s RFK Funeral Train and has printed an expanded version with 30 more photos.

From the unstoppable Heidelbergs of Steidl, comes a new edition of Robert Frank’s Zero Mostel Reads a Book as well as a much needed 50th anniversary edition of The Americans. Also since they think outside the box, they are reprinting Andy Warhol’s 1968 classic catalog from the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Kruse Publisher is reissuing Karin Apollonia Muller’s sleeper on LA, Angels In Fall which made the cut and was included in Parr and Badger Volume 2. This book made somewhat of an impression on me but I hesitated in getting a copy and then it was gone (but not apparently for good).

The lastly I will mention MoMA’s updated edition of Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters with additional photos from the past seven years.

For books of original works, there are too many that look promising to mention them all - so I will stick to a few that are a little off the beaten path.

Lee Friedlander is breaking his short silence this year with a book of Fredrick Law Olmsted Landscapes from DAP.

The video and filmmaker Chantal Ackerman is the subject of a new book called Moving Through Time and Space from the Art Museum of the University of Houston.

Torst, the publisher of all photographers Czech, has two new books of my favorite one-armed photographer Josef Sudek with Portraits and The Window of My Studio.

Powershovel Books who gave you the reworking of Daido Moriyama’s Bye Bye Photography is continuing to keep Moriyama in our sightline with Kagero and Colors - another reworking of one of his early books spliced with color photographs.

What may be the most pleasant surprise this year is Aperture’s It’s Beautiful Here Isn’t It… a book of Luigi Ghirri’s color photographs (with an introduction by Bill Eggleston). Aperture is also handling a special edition set of Eric Kessels’ In Almost Every Picture (Volumes One to Five) signed and numbered and housed in a grey felt slipcase.

One of the better young photographers working today, Lisa Kereszi, is having her project on the New York burlesque scene published by Damiani in a book called Fantasies.

Editorial RM is publishing what looks to be the first serious treatment of Nacho Lopez, one of Mexico’s best street photographers, in a huge 500 page volume called Luna Cornea.

Olaf Otto Becker’s iceberg photos are being published by Hatje Cantz in what looks to be a handsome edition called Broken Line.

I am not sure what to expect from Anders Petersen’s City Diary from Steidl since his last two books have been complete duds but this is on my radar.

Thomas Demand’s huge installation Grotto that I had mentioned in my review of the Serpentine Gallery Catalog is the subject of an expensive but luxurious two volume set called Processo Grottesco from Progetto Prada Arte.

And last but certainly not least, Paul Shambroom of Meetings fame has a new book called Picturing Power from the University of Minnesota.

Well…this is my small look forward for Spring 2008. Yes…that is right; these are all for just the Spring season. There will be thousands of more trees pulped for Summer, Fall and Winter. So stay tuned.

Since I quit smoking last year and have the metabolism of a hummingbird, my resolution for the New Year is to keep 5B4 Photography and Books an interesting distraction and resource for all concerned.

One New Year’s wish from me is, if you haven’t used up all of your resolutions already, please consider: “For 2008, I will leave more comments on 5B4 because I have opinions of my own that I can no longer suppress.”

Cheers and Happy New Year. May it be filled with happiness and success and cheap first editions.

Whiskets and Jeff