Over the last few months, publishers have started to release their catalogues of upcoming releases. Surprisingly, despite the recession, the roster of forthcoming monographs is actually pretty robust. I thought I would take a moment to highlight a few of the books I'm looking forward to seeing...
Doug Dubois - All the Days and Nights (Aperture: June 2009)
"More than twenty years later, DuBois’s project has developed in remarkable ways. Doug DuBois: All the Days and Nights resonates with emotional immediacy, offering a potent examination of family relations, and what it means to subject personal relationships to the unblinking eye of the camera. Each photograph is rich with color, nuanced gestures and glances enveloping the viewer in a multivalent, emotionally tense world."
Eirik Johnson - Sawdust Mountain (Aperture: June 2009)
"Timber and salmon are the bedrock of a regional Northwest identity, but the environmental impact of these declining industries has been increasingly at odds with the contemporary ideal of sustainability. In this, his second book, Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an uncertain future—no longer the region of boomtowns built upon the riches of massive old-growth forests."
Thomas Ruff - JPEGS (Aperture: May 2009)
"In 2007, Ruff completed his monumental Jpegs series in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culls primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarges them to a gigantic scale, which exaggerates the pixel patterns until they become sublime geometric displays of color. Many of Ruff’s works in the series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, and conversely, scenes of war, and nature disturbed by human manipulation."
James Welling - Light Sources: 1992-2005 (steidlMACK: May 2009)
"American artist James Welling creates work which challenges the technical and conceptual bounds of photography. In his abstract photographs of the 1980s he usually employed simple materials, like crumpled aluminum foil, draped fabric and pastry dough. Then in 1992 he began the series Light Sources, an open-ended accumulation of diverse portraits, landscapes and interiors. All these photographs indirectly refer to the process of perception and while many of the objects literally transmit light, the series acknowledges that everything we see reflects light and is also a source of light."
Emmet Gowin - Emmet Gowin Photographs (Steidl: May 2009)
"Emmet Gowin Photographs presents a collection of 68 of these images, accompanied by a short personal text by the photographer. Inspired by the work of Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan and Frederick Sommer, Gowin approaches his subjects with a reverence for the relationship between photographer and sitter. Although his photographs often resemble home snapshots, he aspires to take pictures that succeed as more than just family records, in some cases allowing the camera lens to dictate the circular shape of the image."
Paul Graham - Paul Graham (steidlMACK: April 2009)
"His colour work in the early and mid-1980s had a transformative effect on the black and white tradition that had dominated British photography to that point. Since this ground breaking early work, and what sets Graham apart from his peers of that time, is that rather than rest on such achievements, he has continued to radically explore the medium for the next two decades, showing a profound commitment to expanding photography’s artistic space, whilst remaining faithful to that core locus where the documentary and artistic aspects of photography coalesce."
Raimond Wouda - School (Nazraeli Press: March 2009)
"The fourth title in our “Parr/Nazraeli Edition of Ten”, Raimond Wouda’s School shows groups of pupils at numerous secondary schools in the Netherlands. Rather than depicting classrooms, Wouda chose to photograph the places where students relax between classes, setting his large-format camera high on a ladder and triggering the shutter from the ground via remote control to capture specific moments. According to Wouda, the current debates about substance and behaviour in secondary schools have gone unnoticed by the students themselves, for whom school is a relatively safe place in which to meet and interact with their friends, and to discover their own identity."
Laura Carton - Stripped (steidlMACK: April 2009)
"Laura Carton created the photographs in “Stripped” by downloading a variety of pornographic images from the Internet, removing the bodies and then digitally reconstructing the backgrounds from the existing evidence. Looking beyond the camouflage of naked flesh, what remain are the carefully constructed and over-produced fictions of domestic space, suburban melodramas, utopian ideals and fantasies. These new narratives offer a number of sites from which to question underlying assumptions about sexuality, class, race, desire and commodification. “Stripped” is printed in a first edition of 500 copies. “What’s particularly alluring about these images is the way they implicate the viewer in the missing action . . . shorn of buffed, blow-dried actors, they lose their practical function and become open-ended. Your imagination does the rest.”
Chris Verene - Family (Twin Palms Press: Autumn 2009)
"Verene walks right into the lives of his folks, showing you how they are, without any embarrassment on either side. Their togetherness is taken for granted so openly that the viewer feels at each moment like one of them, a member of the clan. Verene’s color [is] tender, warm and sensual, though stops well short of being glamorous . . . flooding them all with a strange, sweet romance. These pictures convey his bittersweet fondness for a smaller world in which he grew up but no longer shares, but which has lessons to teach him about the inroads of ageing, disability and other difficulties. People do what they can to help each other and themselves, all from ‘leaking boats.’ Meanwhile, the dark room and the night bring tidings of their isolation. Many viewers are familiar with visits back home in this mood, which Verene renders luminous and fatal."
Roger Ballen - Boarding House (Phaidon: March 2009)
"Boarding House captures an imaginary space of transient residence, of comings and goings, focusing on the evocative drawings and sculptural objects as well as the people and animals found there. Compelling and thought-provoking, the 75 photographs (many of them previously unpublished) are like images from a waking dream, with layers of rich detail, flashes of dark humour and an altered sense of place."
If anyone out there can think of something wonderful and obvious that I missed, let me know and I will abridge this list.
From Top To Bottom:
Image © Doug Dubois
Image © Eirik Johnson
Image © Thomas Ruff
Image © James Welling
Image © Emmet Gowin
Image © Paul Graham
Image © Raimond Wouda
Image © Laura Carton
Image © Chris Verene
Image © Roger Ballen