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Books: Andrew Zuckerman The Flower Book

In various artistic traditions, flowers have figured as ornament, allegory, and vehicles for exploring color, light, and technique. Substituted for the most fundamental themes — death, sex, the spiritual realm — they abound by virtue of their physical beauty and diversity, but also due to their symbolic implications, ritualistic and medicinal applications, and their proximity to decay.

Dispensing with romanticism and narrative associations, Andrew Zuckerman’s Flower is predicated on contemporizing this seemingly exhausted terrain. Culled from an exploration of over 300 species, Zuckerman aims, as always, to translate the essential nature of his subjects and unearth qualities that have previously escaped scrutiny.

With characteristic minimalism, he creates an atmosphere of absolute clarity to reveal each flower on its own terms. In the blank field of pure white light, in exacting definition, they appear alternately alien, comestible, and anatomical. Every aspect is made explicit. What one notices immediately are the astonishing gradations of color and variations of form — some sculptural, others almost viscous — followed by boundless textural nuance.

The images contained within are not still lives, but flowers in a specific time and place, responding to the pull of light, gravity, and water. At close range, they reveal a kind of topography for survival. Zuckerman’s photographs expose the mechanisms beneath the surface — vascular, respiratory, reproductive – the structural imperatives for such arresting physical beauty.

Andrew Zuckerman Flower

Photography: Disportraits by Matthias Schaller

Matthias Schaller is a retrospective of Schaller’s photography in book form. Presenting all his major bodies of work from the last ten years such as the series “Studio Gursky” (2000), documenting Andreas Gursky’s Düsseldorf studio; “Die Mühle” (2001-02), showing the studio-home of Bernd and Hilla Becher; and “Controfacciata” (2008), colourdrained images of the interiors of Venetian palaces. Including thumbnail images of all these series and a bibliography, this book is the perfect entry-point to Schaller’s oeuvre and a comprehensive summary of it.

Matthias Schaller, Photography by Matthias Schaller, Hardcover, 332 pages, Published by Steidl, English, ISBN: 9783869303239
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Photographers A-Z by Hans-Michael Koetzle

A comprehensive overview of the most influential photographers of the last century and their finest monographs: Arranged alphabetically, this biographical encyclopedia features every major photographer of the 20th century, from the earliest representatives of classical Modernism right up to the present day.

Richly illustrated with facsimiles from books and magazines, this book includes all the major photographers of the last one hundred years–especially those who have distinguished themselves with important publications or exhibitions, or who have made a significant contribution to the culture of the photographic image. The 400 entries include photographers from North America and Europe as well as from Japan, Latin America, Africa, and China.

Photographers A-Z focuses on photographic images and culture, but also features photographers working in “applied” areas, whose work goes beyond the merely illustrative, and is regarded as photographic art and is conserved by major museums, such as Julius Shulman, Terry Richardson, Cindy Sherman, and David LaChapelle, et al.

Photographers A-Z, by Hans-Michael Koetzle, Published, by Taschen, Hardcover, 25 x 31.7 cm (9.8 x 12.5 in.), 444 pages, ISBN: 9783836511094
Buy it here: Amazon

Photography: Spomenik by Jan Kempenaers

The Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers undertook a laborious trek through the Balkans in order to photograph a series of these mysterious objects. He captures the Spomeniks in the misty mountain landscape at sundown. Looking at the photographs one must admit to a certain embarrassment. We see the powerful beauty of the monumental sculptures and we catch ourselves forgetting the victims in whose name they were built. This is in no way a reproach to the photographer, but rather attests to the strength of the images. After all, Kempenaers did not set out as a documentary photographer, but first and foremost as an artist seeking to create a new image. An image so powerful that it engulfs the viewer. He allows the viewer to enjoy the melancholy beauty of the Spomeniks, but in so doing, forces us to take a position on a social issue.

Spomenik by Jan Kempenaers, Published by Roma Publications, 64 pp, hardcover, 33x24cm
Buy the Book: Amazon

Books: Fred Herzog Photographs

After immigrating to Canada in the 1950s, Fred Herzog (*1930 in Bad Friedrichshall) devoted himself to what was, at the time, an unusual medium: color photography. In this way he broke through the established perceptions and theoretical opinions, most of which accorded to black-and-white photography the status of art. As a pioneer in the field of color photography, Herzog perfected his eye for the supposedly insignificant. His motifs are the streets of Vancouver, supermarkets, gas stations, bars, urban scenery, landscapes, and, again and again, man in his environment–the heights and depths of the North American dream. He tested the potential of color photography as a medium for great objectivity and great artistry alike, and his critical viewpoint allows us to the banal, the ephemeral, and the apparently meaningless. Above all, however, color lends his photographs a unique atmosphere and power, and is ultimately what makes them seem authentic.

Fred Herzog Photographs, Edited by Felix Hoffmann, C/O Berlin, Published by Hatje Cantz, German/English, 2010. 192 pp., 98 ills., 92 in color, 19.80 x 21.60 cm, ISBN 9783775728119

Books: Allison Davies: Outerland

For more than a decade Allison Davies has been quietly making landscape photographs and ambiguous self-portraits of haunting beauty. In Outerland, her debut collaboration with Charles Lane Press, Davies portrays herself as a solitary interplanetary wanderer lost in the spectacular vistas of alien worlds. Presented without text or explanation of any kind, and with only a handful of mysterious symbols to help orient ourselves in Davies’ imagined cosmos, Outerland offers a compelling new perspective on self-portraiture within the narrative of modern landscape photography.

Outerland by Allison Davies, Edited by Richard Renaldi, Hardcover: 15.25 in. × 11.25 in., 144 pages, 65 full color plates, Bound in Tyvek with French fold jacket, Edition of 700

Buy it here: Charles Lane Press

Books: Michael Reisch: New Landscapes

At first glance, the photographs of landscapes by Michael Reisch look very real. Upon closer inspection, however, the viewer senses that something is not quite right. On the one hand, we are fascinated by unspoiled nature, which suggests wilderness, or perhaps even paradise. On the other hand, the images seem artificial, too immaculate to be true. The landscapes appear strangely frozen, as if they have been permeated by an invisible geometric structure. The pictures create a sense of uncertainty, because they are based on real, existing landscapes that Reisch has photographed with a digital camera but later processed. This combination of realism and manipulation gives rise to some questions: how do we put together our contemporary concept of landscape and nature? And are our ideas of landscape and nature at all salvageable now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century?

Michael Reisch: New Landscapes, Texts by Duncan Forbes, Rolf Hengesbach, 100 pp., 35 color ills., 34,70 x 28,60 cm, Hardcover,
Published by by Designer, for Hatje Cantz, ISBN 9783775726351
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Books: Bird by Andrew Zuckerman

Photography © Andrew Zuckerman

Turning his camera to the world of birds, Andrew Zuckerman has a created a new body of work showcasing more than 200 stunning photographs of nearly 75 different species. These winged creatures from exotic parrots to everyday sparrows, and endangered penguins to woody owls are captured with Zuckerman’s painstaking perspective against a stark white background to reveal the vivid colors, textures, and personalities of each subject in extraordinary and exquisite detail. The ultimate art book for ornithologists and nature enthusiasts alike, Bird is a volume of sublime beauty.

Bird, by Andrew Zuckerman
Buy it here: Amazon

+ more: Andrew Zuckerman: Creature

Books: Guido Mocafico: Movement

Time is naturally marked by repeating astronomical phenomena, by the daily cycle and the seasons, as nights and months come and go. To slice it into finer fractions, our forbears invented sundials, which track the movement of the shadows projected by the sun, or clepsydra, hourglass-like devices that count time based on a consistent rate of water flow. But ever since 1657, when the first watch was created, we have used the oscillatory movements of a mechanical system to do that job. The photographer Guido Mocafico, whose previous books include Venenum, Medusa and Serpens, sets out in this new project, Movement, to observe these systems. He chose complex and rare mechanisms–physically mechanical rather than electronic–which led him into a world of traditional knowledge controlled by master watchmakers. To remove the back from one of their tiny creations is to plunge into an unknown world: these images of the tiny springs, levers, screws and gears that drive the hands of time forward, etched with the slightest texture possible and engraved in the smallest type possible, present an abiding mystery of the everyday, representative of all of the technologies we have come to take for granted. Mocafico was born in Switzerland in 1962. A specialist in still life, he works for international magazines such as Vogue, French Vogue, The Face and Wallpaper. Based in Paris, he has also undertaken numerous advertising campaigns for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Shiseido and Hermès.

Guido Mocafico: Movement, Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by François-Paul Journe, Stephen Forsey, Antoine Simonin. ISBN: 9783865214553
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War

The Cold War is over, yet its traces are still visible. Dutch documentary photographer Martin Roemers decided to track down the remains of this period. For over ten years he repeatedly traveled through formerly hostile countries on both sides of the line. He descended into underground tunnels; photographed abandoned control centers, old barracks, wrecked tanks, and ruined statues. In his images the era of enmity, the politics of deterrence, and the arms race appear ongoing and vivid, serving as a reminder for a future of peace.

Exhibition: Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War, Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin, November 11, 2009 – January 15, 2010

Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War, Published by Hatje Cantz, Edited by Nadine Barth, texts by Nadine Barth, H.J.A. Hofland, Martin Roemers, 144 pp., 73 color illustrations, 25.7 x 28.6 cm, hardcover, ISBN 9783775725347

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