Cap Antifer-Etretat. Photographs by Elger Esser. Text by Guy de Maupassant and Gustave Flaubert. Essay by Peter Foos (texts in English & German). Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2002. 40 pp. Large oblong quarto. Limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies (small label pasted to front free-endpaper notes edition number). Hardbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. 15 color reproductions and 8 sketches. Accompanied by an original 9 1/2 x 12 in. C-Print (printed in 2003), "La Manne-Porte, Frakreich, 2000" (image size 10 x 7 5/8 in.); numbered and signed in pencil on verso by Esser; print ed. of 100). Print housed in a separate cloth folio with beveled window overmat. Both book and print are housed in a larger cloth slipcase.
Born in 1967, Esser is one of the youngest members of the Becher's master class at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art, where both Thomas Struth and Candida Hofer studied. He also works in color with a large-format camera, though in technique he stands apart by underexposing his prints, producing delicate and washed out hues, rich in their subtlety. Esser's work is rooted in place, which is to say that his photographs are about the here-and-now; the details in the photographs stand solely for these particulars and no others. The place, then, of these images is a strip of coastline in France, from Cap d'Antifer to Etretat, made famous at the turn of the century by the writer Gustave Flaubert; the young Guy de Maupassant sketched the region for Flaubert, and it is from these sketches that Esser has worked. As important to this book as the photographs are, however, is the wide-ranging essay on 20th century art-making penned by Peter Foos. He draws into his dialogue Duchamp, Walter Benjamin, Hubertus von Amelunxen, and Courbet in a thoroughly engaging manner.
Slight corner imperfection lower corner of book; otherwise all contents Very Fine.