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PHOTO-EYE BEST BOOKS 2018
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Adam Bell's favorite book from 2018

As everyone rushes to put out their book, the simple act of waiting is often underappreciated. Although not always by choice, time can strengthen a body of work. Wood River Blue Pool + Blue Pool Cecelia, by Jo Ann Walters and Emma Kemp, gathers together twenty year's worth of portraits made by Walters along with two excellent texts, an essay by Laura Wexler in the main volume, and an experimental, genre-defying artist profile in Kemp’s book, Blue Pool Cecelia. Two books in one, these individual volumes could easily exist on their own, but form a symbiotic relationship, strengthening and enriching each other. Good work often takes a long time to find a proper home; rarely is it presented in such a powerful and elegant package.


Adam Bell is a photographer, writer, and educator. He received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts and his work has been exhibited and published internationally. His books include Vision Anew: The Lens and Screen Arts (2015) and The Education of a Photographer (2006); his writing and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Afterimage, Aperture, FOAM Magazine, Paper Journal, photo-eye, The Photobook Review, and The Brooklyn Rail. He recently received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey Council of the Arts and is on staff and faculty at the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

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Adam Bell's favorite book from 2018

Michael Ashkin’s quiet and austere images of the damaged landscape of the Mojave desert have a disquieting beauty perfectly attuned to our fraught moment. Pairing image and poetic text, were it not for is an urgent and timely book as we slowly awaken from the lies and empty promises of 20th-century hypercapitalism. Whereas the titular refrain speaks of limits and excuses—forestalling possibilities, hope, and progress—the accompanying photographs are a tragic foil of unfettered excess and ruin.


Adam Bell is a photographer, writer, and educator. He received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2004, and his work has been exhibited and published internationally. His books included Vision Anew: The Lens and Screen Arts (2015) and The Education of a Photographer (2006), and his writing and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Afterimage, Aperture, FOAM Magazine, Paper Journal, photo-eye, The Photobook Review, and The Brooklyn Rail. He recently received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey Council of the Arts and is on staff and faculty at the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.