Photographs by Sergio Larrain.
Aperture, New York, 2013. 420 pp., 200 duotone illustrations, 8¼x11½".
Selected as a Book of the Week by Jeffrey Ladd
A notoriously reclusive artist, Sergio Larrain has nonetheless become a touchstone for those who have come to know and love his work, including authors Roberto Bolaño and Julio Cortázar. Celebrated by Henri Cartier-Bresson, his contemporary and a co-founder of Magnum, Larrain's experimental process yielded images that transformed the fixed nature of the medium. His images have left generations of viewers in awe of the simultaneous serenity and spontaneity that a camera can capture-when placed, that is, in the hands of an artist with such rare meditative passion. 'A good image is born from a state of grace,' the artist once explained. Sergio Larrain, a selection of over two hundred images, rectifies Larrain's omission from the canon of significant twentieth-century photographers, and combines his work in Latin America with photographs taken in Europe. Following a creatively fertile period in the 1950s and 60s, Larrain put away his camera and devoted himself to the solitary pursuit of spiritual mysticism, a decision that further contributed to his reputation as a romantic, a 'fatal personage,' in the words of Bolaño. Created with the encouragement of Larrain's family, the book is sumptuously produced, designed by Xavier Barral, and edited by Agnès Sire, who enjoyed a long correspondence with the photographer and has worked with Magnum on preserving his photographic estate.