Copyright 2009 Max Pam
Photographer: Max Pam (born Melbourne, resides in Australia)
Publisher: T&G Publishing, Sydney, Australia
Essays: Max Pam, Stephen Muecke
Text: English (primarily)
Hardcover book with dust jacket with one fold-out, sewn binding, four-color lithography, Index of Plates, printed & bound in Taiwan
Photobook designer: Gianni Frinzi
Notes: This photobook is a compilation of eight travel journals (artist books) created by Pam, beginning with Pam’s Karakoram (2006) and shifting back through the decades to his first journals created in 1970. The journals map through a wonderful mixture of texts, photographs, paintings and marks on paper his engagement and interactions with the cultures he has traveled through. The development of his journalist process provides a platform for his own development as a photographer, writer and as an artist. Recommended
Other Max Pam photobook reviews: Max Pam – Ramadan in Yehmen (Editions Bessard)
Book Award: Best Photography Book of the Year, International Category, PhotoEspana (2010)
Note: This reviewed photobook is part of a limited edition set with custom illustrated box (bottom image below) and signed/numbered silver gelatin print (top image below)
Copyright 2014 the estate of Aaron Siskind
Photographer: Aaron Siskind (1903 – 1991) USA
Publisher: University of Texas Press, Austin (TX) (first published by Editions Hazan, Paris, 2014)
Essays: Charles Traub, Gilles Mora
Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, Chronology, Bibliography, List of Photographs, printed in Italy
Photobook designer: Nicolas Hubert
Notes: A photographer who first came into recognition for his documentary photographs of NYC as part of Photo League. Siskind then evolved into one of the ground breaking and subsequent prominent photographers making the conceptual leap into Abstraction and his close friendship with Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell. He viewed photography as a visual language of signs, metaphors and symbols as the equivalent of poetry and music.
Copyright 2014 Dragana Jursic
Photographer: Dragana Jursic (b. Yugoslavia, resides Ireland)
Publisher: Oonagh Young gallery
Essay: Dragana Jursic
Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, with captions (Rebecca West/Dragana Jurisic), printed in Luxembourg
Photobook designer: Oonagh Young
Notes: Jursic documents her journey, retracing the steps of Rebecca West’s 1937 novel Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, through what was Yugoslavia, where she was born, but a “country” which no longer exists; a poignant mashup of memory and identity. Recommended.
Copyright 2014 the estate of Minor White
Photographer: Minor White (1908 – 1976 USA)
Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Essay: Paul Martineau
Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, list of plates, pagination and captions, printed in China
Photobook designer: Jeffrey Cohen
Notes: A beautifully printed retrospective monograph, which also functions as an exhibition catalog, of a modern photographer who was a creative photographic innovator, poet, teacher and one of the co-founders as well as the first editor of Aperture magazine. Known for his spirituality and equivalence inspired photographs. Note: this extensive and well-illustrated monograph contains only White’s black and white photographs and does not contain any of his later color photographs.
Copyright 2015 Lori Vrba
Photographer: Lori Vrba (born Texas, resides North Carolina (USA))
Publisher: Daylight Books
Essay: Del Zogg
Hardcover book, sewn binding, Index of Plates, four-color lithography, printed & bound in China
Photobook designer: Ursula Damm
Notes: A delightful book filled with dreamlike black & white toned photographs that investigate memory and identify. (Extracted from the publisher); Vrba’s meticulously composed photographs are packed with symbolism drawn from art, folklore, mythology and biblical references. He subjects are actors performing parts in a series of dreamlike vignettes that tell universal stories of love, loss and the passage of time, and examine the simultaneous joy and pain of motherhood, love and being an artist. very nice.
Copyright 2015 Julia Borissova
Photographs, collages & drawings: Julia Borissova (born Talinn, Estonia & resides in St Petersburg, RU)
Published & copyright: 2015
Publisher: self-published artist book, edition size: 100, each signed and numbered
Hardcover book with embossed cover, thread-stitched binding, four-color lithography includes 6 transparent pages and multiple collage (glued- in) pages, printed & bound in Russia
Photobook designer: Julia Borissova
Notes: This artist book is a conceptual project about memory and identity, my favorite subjects. Borissova states “It is a deeply personal work based on my growing up in one of the districts in St. Petersburg, Russia, and it is some kind of meditation on my private relationship with the past. Urban environmental documentation in the compilation with some snapshots from my family archive, drawings and collages gives me a possibility to analyze and bridge a gap in my personal history.” <address> is another fascinating photobook by Borissova, very recommended.
Copyright 2014 the estate of Mary Ellen Mark
Photographer: Mary Ellen Mark (1940 – 2015)
Published & copyright: 2014
Publisher: University of Texas Press, Austin (TX)
Essays: Melissa Harris
Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed & bound in China
Photobook designer: Mary Ellen Mark & Ellen McKie
Notes: A photo project that the late Mary Ellen Mark started in the late 1970’s that resulted in her earlier photobook Indian Circus (1981). She would continue to return to this subject for the following 40 years and this photobook was published just before her passing. I think that the publisher may have described this book best, in stating “Infused with an unsentimental poignancy and fully intentional anthropomorphism, Mark’s photographs of animals, circus performers, children and others are sometimes ironic, occasionally unsettling, but always remarkably engaging”.
Copyright 2014 Kenny Braun
Photographer: Kenny Braun (born & resides TX, USA)
Published & copyright: 2014
Publisher: University of Texas Press, Austin, TX
Essays: Stephen Harrigan
Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, lithographic printing, printed & bound in China
Photobook designer: DJ Stout & Barret Fry
Notes: Braun’s lyrical black and white photographs investigate the excitement and emotional rush of surfing in the context of the culture and lifestyle of those who participate in this coastal sport. This narrative is from an insider’s perspective as this is Braun’s own Texas surfing turf.
Copyright 2013 Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
Photographers: Adam Broomberg (born South Africa) & Oliver Chanarin (born UK) both reside in UK
Concept: Gigi Giannuzzi (d. December 2012), publisher Trolley Books
Published & copyright: 2013
Publisher: Trolley Books (UK)
Hardcover book with tipped in image, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Italy
Photobook designer: Fernando Gutierrez
Notes: A photographic concept envisioned by the late Gigi Giannuzzi, created by the double printing of the interior press sheets (scarti di avviamento) to clean the press drums, which these were created after the printing of Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin’s photobook Ghetto. The random and unanticipated resulting images would have been equally enjoyed by the Surrealist. nice.
Photograph copyright Dragana Jursic 2015 (YU The Lost Country)
I have been contemplating some changes to this blog for a while now, due to a combination of factors. First is the large quantity of photobooks that are being published at an almost dizzying rate since I started this blog in 2008. Second is the growing quantity of high quality, creative and delightful contemporary photobooks and self-published artists books. At times I am overwhelmed with wonderful photobooks, and while taking the necessary to spend time to enjoy each of these, this precludes having the time to writing about them. Yet these great books deserve a shout out to the photographic book community at large to increase the awareness, part of the purpose of this blog.
Second half of this is the time that I have available to write about photobooks is shared with time I can spend on my personal photographic projects and photobooks (yes, I do have a day job that can be equally demanding). Thus the more time I spend with the books of others, the less time I have to spend on developing my own. Regretfully this is a balancing act and one that I have not been too good at with both parts suffering as of late.
Now here is the thing, I really enjoy creative photobooks, so I will continue to collect. Second, I am a photo-blogger so I will continue to write about photobooks. Thus I am going to try using my Facebook format on this blog for a while to provide a more concise shout out about the books I like. You should see more book shout outs and a lot more often that before. That in turn should allow me some guilt-free time to work on my own photographic projects. nice!
So let’s see how this works for a while.