These images aren't ones I'm typically drawn to. But the book, perfectly oversize-printed on matte paper and packaged in a plastic slipcase, adds the needed texture of softness to counter the bold, brash images, creating a perfectly balanced book.
It's easy for me to enjoy a book of landscape images taken entirely in Newfoundland and Labrador. Unmarked Sites, with it's portable size, personal notes from the artist, and sensitive design, transforms from an average photo book to a fun and intimate travel journal.
This book is a perfect realization of Kawauchi's images. From the French-folded warm-toned paper, to the multi-colored dotted foil stamping on the cover, to the most unusal and ultimately sustaining pairings, this book demands as much from it's viewers as it gives back.
With aesthetic references to newspapers, graphic novels and Weegee’s Naked City, Series is undoubtedly the most unconventional book on this list. From the beginning, the book dictates a level of command over it's viewer and never lets go. A powerful viewing experience from beginning to end.
From the typography choices, to the gold foil and paper, to the leather-feeling book covering, to the sardonic imagery, this book just puts a smile on my face. Add to all of that the history behind this series, that Friedlander was hired to photograph the new cars of 1964 by Harper's Bazaar and instead of choosing to photograph them in showrooms or in dramatically lit compositions, he chose environmental portraits in 'real' America—burger joints, beauty parlors and drive-ins. When a book can achieve such a full spectrum of emotional content, masterful craft and well-executed design, it's worthy of attention.
If a series of photographs could be packaged as meditation, this book would be it. Images of the stormy sea contradict the beautifully minimalist design of the book. Undeniably the best publisher at translating an artist book into a trade publication, Nazraeli Press delivers another excellent example of book as art.
Known primarily as a painter, Lyonel Feininger's beautiful black and white images are first published in monograph form in this beautiful book. Essentially an exhibition catalog, it affords the rare opportunity to compare a single artist's paintings, woodcuts, drawings and eventually, photographs. Knowing that Feininger never attempted to exhibit or sell the photographs somehow makes the viewing of them even more enjoyable.
It's taken me a while to digest this book. The images, like the land they depict, are hard and spare. It requires multiple viewings before a dialog can even begin between the viewer and artist. But, the more I see it, the more I appreciate the design details of this book—the soft blue/gray endsheets, the printed book cloth cover, the book's proportions and the generous space afforded the viewer to rest the eyes. This book reminds me of ones like Robert Adam's West from the Columbia, ones that require faith from the viewer that multiple viewings will eventually lead to a deeper understanding of the work. I have no doubt that Pangnirtung is a similar type of publication.
Another extraordinary compilation of images presenting Steinmetz's astoundingly intuitive eye —designed, sequenced and printed with the subtlety and restraint necessary to best display the photographs.
*(Please note that this listing is for the Pastoral book by Mark Steinmetz which is only available in the set).
Lauren Henkin was born in Washington, D.C. She is a photographer who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and now resides in Portland, Oregon.
She states, “When photographing, I focus on trying to answer: What are the things that last? What, if anything, is permanent? I work from the inside out, using the external landscape as a way to tell deeply person, interior stories. When I look back on my work, seeing the progression from one series to another, I see a visual diary of my life, my worries, my fears, and hopes.”
Henkin is also an educator, reviewer, frequent speaker, Photolucida board member, author of three books, and active member in the photographic community. Her imprint, Vela Noche, publishes handmade and other artist books. In addition, she founded Photo Radio, an online audio program presenting interviews with curators, gallerists, artists, publishers, educators and other industry professionals.