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A comprehensive representation of the work of the great British photojournalist Denis Thorpe is long overdue. Well done to Bluecoat Press for bringing out A View From the North which particularly focuses on his work in Northern England. Thorpe was a leading photographer for the Daily Mail and then The Guardian for the best part of fifty years. We’re very happy to say we will shortly have signed copies. Sample images.

I remember seeing some early images from Chloe Dewe Mathews’ Caspian project several years ago and being struck by their strong compositional sense and superb use of colour. Mathews has returned to the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea several times since then, mainly photographing in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia and has been rewarded with Caspian, a major new publication from Aperture. It is in part an exploration of the impact of the oil industry that has transformed the regions around the Sea. She finds an apt metaphor for this development in Naftalan, an area in Azerbaijan in which people have bathed in naturally-found crude oil for hundreds of years. Mathews was able to get right inside the sanatoriums to take photographs of people receiving the treatment. These dark interiors contrast with the bleached-out images of migrant workers building mausoleums for the new oil-rich middle class. Sample images.

Following on from his celebrated trilogy of Dublin street photographs, Eamonn Doyle’s new work moves away to the western Atlantic edge of Ireland, a landscape that, in places, appears out of time, a parallel world untouched by human presence. Through the intense colour images of K, we follow a figure that shape-shifts as it travels across this landscape. Entirely veiled in cloth, the figure is spectral, changing in colour and materiality as it is pushed and pulled by gravity, wind, water and light. This work functions, in part, as a lament for Doyle’s late brother and mother. Sample images.

The current political ferment in the US has guaranteed that Andrew Moisey’s The American Fraternity has had considerable media coverage in advance of publication. The fraternities are male-only groups that thrive on many college campuses and are associated with arcane rituals, excessive alcohol consumption and misogyny. Moisey combines his own photographs of fraternities with scanned pages from a wax-stained 60 year old ritual manual. This book will shed new light on the peculiarities of the fraternal orders which count seventy-five percent of modern U.S. presidents, senators, justices, and executives among their members. Sample images.

There’s also been quite a lot of advance buzz about Matthew Genitempo’s Jasper, shortly to be published by Twin Palms. The project explores Genitempo’s fascination with running away from the everyday by looking at the men that have chosen to live life sequestered from society in the forests of the Ozark Mountains. His work has echoes of Alec Soth and Bryan Schutmaat but there is a particular poetic feel to this work, generating some of the most beautiful imagery I’ve seen in a long time. Sample images.

I have to admit we were a bit slow on the uptake when Mary Frey’s Reading Raymond Carver was published last year. It went almost immediately out of print and we’d only managed to secure a couple of copies. So be forewarned about this as the same may well happen with the follow-up, Real Life Dramas. The Carver work comprised black-and-white photographs taken at home and in her immediate vicinity in Massachusetts between 1979 and 1984. On the strength of that, Frey was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a show of her colour work - also of her home community between 1987 and 1991 - at MOMA New York but then she sank into obscurity. Real Life Dramas contains this colour work. These staged images form a wry commentary on suburban life. Sample images.

Prestel are publishing Sun Gardens, a revised and expanded edition of a long out-of-print monograph by Anna Atkins. It draws upon years of careful research and sets Atkins and her work in the proper context. Supplementary texts shed new light on her productions and on the cyanotype process. Sample images. The special edition of Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae, mentioned in a previous newsletter, is due to be published on 29 November.

Rizzoli are publishing a huge celebration in two volumes of Anne Brigman: a Visionary of Modern Photography. Considered very radical in their time, Brigman’s most famous images from the early 1900s depict female nudes outdoors in rugged Northern California, where she lived. There she was known as a poet, a critic, and a member of the Pictorialist movement. On the East Coast, her work was promoted by Alfred Stieglitz, who elected her as a fellow of the prestigious Photo-Secession. The first volume is a large book devoted to Brigman’s entire career. The second is a smaller book with Brigman’s poetry and reproductions of her original Songs of a Pagan. Sample images.

Trilogy draws together three series of Lu Nan’s work over the course of 15 years: The Forgotten People, a haunting study of the living conditions of China’s psychiatric patients; On the Road, a document of the daily lives of Catholics in China; and Four Seasons, a chronicle of the lives of rural peasants in Tibet. Previously only published in his native China, this is the first English language publication of the renowned photographer’s work. Sample images.

Shomei Tomatsu, published to coincide with an exhibition at Mapfre, Madrid, is the first retrospective to appear since Tomatsu’s death. A huge influence on later Japanese photographers such as Moriyama, Nakihara and Araki, Tomatsu first came to attention for his images of the “sad, strange relics” of the nuclear devastation of Nagasaki. His best-known images are his portraits of people and street scenes from the 1950s and 1960s Japan; and his images of Okinawa where he lived most of his later years.


 

Sunday: a Portrait of 21st Century England by Matt Writtle documents twelve different Sundays from a variety of backgrounds across England. Writtle’s images reflect on the huge shift away from traditional churchgoing, while consumerism and digital culture have changed the way we use our time. Sample images.

Aura is the third photobook by David Jiménez, a Spanish photographer based in Mardin, widely known by his first book Infinito (a new edition of which also became available recently). Jimenez’s work is based on an understanding that what we call reality conceals a network of complex relationships beyond rational thought. His purpose is to recreate metaphorically this secret network of connections through a universe of images rich with hidden clues. Sample images.

Calendars and diaries

The Sierra Club Wall Calendar (sample images) and Diary (sample images) are now available. So are the perennial favourites, the Ansel Adams wall calendar and Ansel Adams diary.

The Michael Kenna 2019 Calendar will also be available very soon.

Endnotes

Among the titles that have come into stock for the first time since the last newsletter are: Mark Steinmetz’s Past K-ville; Tom Wood’s Women’s Market; Matt Eich’s Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town; and Masahisa Fukase – Barral’s major retrospective with over 400 images.

Next weekend, we’re doing the bookstall at the On Landscape conference. If you’re interested but unable to go, the kind organisers are offering you the chance to live-stream it for free.

Finally here’s a link to our second blog preview – an interview with Rachel Barker of Stanley Barker – responsible for the new Steinmetz and Tom Wood titles listed above plus many more goodies.

If you missed the interview with Iain Sarjeant of Another Place last time, here’s another chance for you.

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