1. The Photobook Review When this list is published, the following headline will still be news to many: Aperture Publishes Photobook Supplement to Its Legendary Magazine. With the appearance of The Photobook Review, a biannual periodical, a moment of history is upon us. The last decade, as has been oft-noted, has witnessed an intense examination of the history of photography and the book-form. Many people and forces have contributed to this, including publishers, authors, photographers, dealers, booksellers, and eager buyers. The PBR stands on the shoulders of, pays homage to, and includes several of those figures. With this, and many other activities including an amazing publishing program, contemporary exhibition space, nimble dedicated staff, and solid leadership across the board, Aperture reclaims its role at the center of the medium of photography.
***The Aperture list was stellar this year, including:
For those who first saw Amerika over 10 years ago, it is a true joy to watch Johannson's work gain greater recognition. This is just the most recent book in a steady stream of consistent, thoughtful books. My advice is to go find his others as well.
"I always work in the book form first."--Alec Soth. His engagement with the book form is continually refreshed and doggedly pursued. Soth's art is lead by his questions which is the sign of a true thinker.
A teenage girl is accidentally killed by mafia violence in the town of Naples. Spada, an Italian photographer working in the area, gained access to the police documents surrounding the crime all the while making images of the neighborhood and the girls whose childhoods are too often interrupted by violence and lost opportunity. The designer Sybren Kuiper perfectly combined the police files and Spada's images into a complex and cohesive whole.
In Japan, the tradition of diving for abalone is over two millennia old; Ama is the name given to the women that dive. Poppe's first book is an elegant production, working within the structure of "the photo essay."
This project was the brilliant brainchild of Aperture and the artist in which patrons to an event could edit and sequence Daido's work, watch it being screen-printed, and then assembled into their own personal book. The results are a 21st century embodiment of the Provoke-era, boundaries-breaking tradition that Daido was so integral to. On that night, the master offered up his art and energy to any and all. How radical!
This is the perfect radius: Twelve 506 page volumes printed-on-demand, representing a scale model of our solar system from the Sun to Pluto.
Darius Himes is Assistant Director of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco. He is a co-founder of Radius Books, a non-profit publisher of books on photography and the visual arts, where he serves on the Board and consults on project acquisitions. He was founding editor of photo-eye Booklist, a quarterly magazine devoted to photography books, which ran from 2002–2007. A lecturer, educator, and writer, he has contributed to Aperture, Blind Spot, Bookforum, BOMB, PDN, and American Photo. In 2008, he was named by PDN as one of the fifteen most influential people in photography book publishing. His most recent title, Publish Your Photography Book, co-authored with Mary Virginia Swanson, was released by Princeton Architectural Press in the Spring of 2011.