Sunday, October 25, 2015

David Kregenow - AT EYE LEVEL, 21 photographs of photographers

David Kregenow - Anders Petersen

David Kregenow makes wonderful portraits. Empathetic, unadorned and true to life says Wim van Sinderen. There is still a chance to get David's new bookwork, with free shipping until October 31st.

AT EYE LEVEL / David Kregenow / 48 pages with 21 b/w pictures / A5 / Edition of 110 Numbered (100 regular edition copies and 10 special edition copies)
Preface by Wim Van Sinderen, Senior Curator of The Hague Museum of Photography
HP Indigo Print / Couché mat 150gsm paper / Perfect Bound / 24,00 €

You can order a copy of  AT EYE LEVEL from Unknown Books HERE.

David Kregenow - Louis Baltz

TAIYO ONORATO & NICO KREBS – EURASIA at Fotomuseum Winterthur

TAIYO ONORATO & NICO KREBS - Shed (Broken) 2013

We live our lives in the belief that the world is growing ever smaller. We eat vegetables from New Zealand, communicate in real time with people in Buenos Aires and Capetown, fly to New York for the weekend, and print books in China. We no longer have a feeling for real distances anymore. Our western world is plugged in 24 hours a day. Looking out of a jumbo jet, we see mountains and steppes, fields and villages passing by, 11 kilometers below us. Families live in each little building, and vehicles full of people move along the streets. Each of these people lives an individual life; each has a certain view of the landscape and a history. A dizzying thought. One closes one’s eyes; the sheer dimension of the idea is too immense. How does our world look in actuality? How does one cross the planet’s largest landmass? What kinds of images are the ones that make it back home? How does it feel to travel 15,000 kilometers by land, instead of taking the shortcut via the jet stream or fiber-optic cables? (Onorato & Krebs)

After their phenomenally successful work The Great Unreal, based on a road trip through the US, which the artists subsequently distorted beyond recognition in their studio, the Swiss duo Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs hit the road once again in 2013. In their most recent, major project they take us on a trip by car to the East. The journey began in Zurich and led through the Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. Through regions in a state of transition-territories that people from the West know very little about. This series forms an imaginative counterpart to The Great Unreal. In contrast to the cultural and visual output of the US, which is present everywhere, the artists had barely any distinct notions of the “East”. The photographs and films that they made during their journey serve as the starting point for a series of works – some real, some surreal – in which images of their experiences are joined with those constructed from memory and the imagination. Using analogue documentary media, such as 16mm film and large-format plate cameras, Onorato & Krebs playfully draw on the myth of the road trip and the exoticism of the East. Searching for the contemporary central Asian fairytale, they broaden the terrain of the documentary. In their work they understand travel as an experimental process, in which the creative impetus of chance is welcome. The resulting images, films, and installation-based interventions are as much constructs as documentation. In a grotesque manner, the idea of something becomes as prominent as its reality; its potential past and future are concentrated in a single moment.

EURASIA, curated by Thomas Seelig,  opened yesterday and runs until February 14, 2016

You can go to the Onorato & Krebs website HERE.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

John Gossage - all you ever wanted to know about making photobooks


Over the weekend of December 5 and 6 at Aperture Foundation New York, you can join photographer John Gossage renowned as do-it-all photographer, book designer, production manager and publisher, for a two-day workshop that will guide participants through the process of producing a photobook. From conception to completion, participants will learn how to deal with decisions, ranging from creative, conceptual and aesthetic choices to budgetary options, while developing a photographic project into book form.

Gossage will present an overview of the photobook-making process and lead conversations about specific books brought in by the participants. He will then review each participant’s proposed book project while engaging the group in discussion. Gossage will be joined by Aperture’s senior editor, Denise Wolff, for a conversation about how Aperture develops its publications and how its editors work with photographers. A few other special guests will stop by throughout the weekend to share their insights on photobook-making. Working step-by-step through the process of creation, with personalized advice, each participant will come closer to finalizing their photobook.

Participants are required to bring a proposed book project at any stage of completion, from a group of pictures to a completed mock-up, as well as a photobook they admire, to share with the group for discussion. Lunch and light refreshments will be served both days.

John Gossage is regarded as one of the finest American photobook-makers of the last forty years. This is a workshop not to be missed.

Presented by Aperture at a very reasonable $500. You can find out more and register HERE.

John Gossage - The Pond

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jeff Wall, Smaller Pictures at Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

Jeff Wall - A sapling supported by a post, 2000

Canadian camera artist Jeff Wall is best known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs and art history writing. Wall has been a key figure in Vancouver's art scene since the early-1970s. Early in his career, he helped define the Vancouver School and he has published essays on the work of his colleagues and fellow Vancouver artists Rodney Graham, Ken Lum and Ian Wallace. His photographic tableaux often take Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop.

Wall has built his reputation on carefully staged moments, often influenced by scenography from nineteenth-century canonical paintings. His exhibition Smaller Pictures, at Paris's Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson however, departs from his usual signature panoramas, not only because of the difference in physical scale but with Wall's subject matter and vision. The images in the HCB exhibition were selected by Wall from his personal collection, with each image intended for presentation in a smaller format. Wall explains: Some of these pictures simply refused to be included in larger plans I had for them . . . some were just accidents along the way. Examples of these misfit images range from the stark color blocking of Diagonal Composition, 1993, which frames the sink in his studio, to The Giant, 1992, which features a naked woman on a stairway landing.

Much of the work shown highlights surface details and the banal - windows, cobwebs, textures. Human, figurative elements are seen truncated and in bits and pieces. Ambiguity and mystery pervades the work and renders the issue of scale to be unimportant.

The exhibition, Jeff Wall, Smaller Pictures continues at Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson until December 20.

Jeff Wall - Diagonal Composition, 1993

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Paul Graham - The Whiteness of the Whale - reviewed by Colin Pantall on photo-eye blog and how to keep work moving


Please don't think that every second post on this blog is about Paul Graham. In fact this post is not so much about PG but the following statement Colin Pantall made in his review of Graham's collective bookwork The Whiteness of the Whale: of the great challenges of making interesting work is to keep moving, to keep making new work that is different. If you’re not Daido Moriyama, don’t make work that looks like Moriyama’s. If you’re not Lucas Blalock, why bother copying him? And if you’re not Garry Winogrand, maybe keep your Leica in your pants for now. Because if you don’t, there is the danger you might end up becoming a caricature of yourself, a human Xerox machine chugging out pictures that become ever-fainter shadows of the originals. There are too many pictures made that look like other people’s pictures. 

That statement is so true, but making it work is not without difficulty. For starters we are all stuck with a particular "visual handwriting" and it's almost impossible to step away from that. Overlay that with own own cultural hard-wiring and preferences, priorities relating to what we want to look at and how we see things when we do. It seems to me that the secret to keeping work moving and making it different is not so much about concentrating on what it may look like but what the work says. This is Paul Graham's strength, his process is a conceptual process where the ideas come first. Once he has his ideas sorted the pictures take care of themselves. And it's the breadth of his ideas that make the work different. To restate one of his quotes from a previous do I make sense of that never ending flow, the fog that covers life here and now... Graham then lists all the possible things he could photograph... and he says yes, yes and yes to all of them.

You can check out Colin Pantall's website HERE where you will find a link to his blog. Pantall is not only a perceptive writer he makes great photographs too. And you can read Pantall's complete review of The Whiteness of the Whale on the photo-eye blog HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hilla Becher, 1934 - 2015


Photographer Hilla Becher has died at 81. Along with her husband Bernd, Hilla Becher produced technically precise large format black-and-white photos of industrial buildings including water towers, coal tipples, cooling towers, grain elevators, and coal bunkers producing photographs highlighting recurring typological elements.

Meeting as students at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1957, Bernd and Hilla Becher first collaborated on photographing and documenting the disappearing German industrial architecture in 1959. The Ruhr Valley, where Becher’s family had worked in the steel and mining industries, was their initial focus. They were fascinated by the similar shapes in which certain buildings were designed. After collating thousands of pictures of individual structures, they noticed that the various edifices shared many distinctive formal qualities. In addition, they were intrigued by the fact that so many of these industrial buildings seemed to have been built with a great deal of attention toward design.

The two taught at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where Hilla was instrumental in building its photography department. The couple influenced well-known German photographers including Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, and Andreas Gursky. The Bechers gained further acclaim outside Germany when their book Anonyme Skulpturen was released in the US. Hilla Becher won the 2002 Erasmus Prize for her contributions to the school and the grand prize for culture offered by the Sparkasse Cultural Foundation of Rhineland in 2014. The Bechers exhibited in Documenta 5, 6, 7, and 11, and in major solo shows or retrospectives at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Stedelijk in Eindhoven; the Pompidou in Paris; and MoMA in New York. Their work is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many other venues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Printed Matter reopens on 11th Avenue NYC

Printed Matter announce that they are now open at their new 231 Eleventh Avenue location!  They say this: We hope you will join us to celebrate at our opening party this Thursday, October 15, 6-8pm, free and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook HERE

The move to Eleventh Avenue is a major and historic expansion of Printed Matter, the world's leading resource for artists' books. Designed pro bono by Handel Architects, the 3,800 square ft facility more than doubles the square footage of our previous home. The new location features a greatly expanded bookstore area over two stories, including a dedicated gallery area for artists’ book exhibitions, and a flexible space for hosting public programs (including talks, panels, performances and book launches). The main bookstore area features a visually dramatic staircase that leads to a publicly-accessible wraparound mezzanine. In addition, larger offices give Printed Matter's growing staff the room to carry out the administration of our programming, including distribution services, an exhibition and publishing program, a full schedule of public events and the production of our NY and LA Art Book Fairs. The facility is fully wheel-chair accessible, with an elevator between the two levels. We hope you will stop by to check us out soon! Please contact with any questions.

You can go to Printed Matter's website HERE.

Yeh! One very good reason to head to NYC very soon! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Paul Graham - photography is so easy it’s ridiculous

Paul Graham - Does Yellow Run Forever, 2014

Yes, photography is so easy it's ridiculous and that's what makes it so hard. In the end it's not so much about making the pictures it's what you do with them. It's about process, having an idea, making the pictures and then giving them life.

It seems to me that so many photographers have a very narrow view of process. Because the image making part is so captivating, so seductive, it's easy to make the pictures with no idea in mind and no end in sight.

Paul Graham is a camera artist who has a profound and insightful view of process. Graham makes deceptively simple images, loaded and layered, addressing strong ideas and outcomes. You could call him a conceptual documentary photographer. I think Martin Parr coined that descriptor. Although Graham knows where his work and projects are heading he also embraces the unexpected and let's intuition work for him too.
Underpinning it all, Graham takes a sharply intelligent view. He engages in critical study, thought, and reflection about the reality of society and this shows in his work. Further Graham is not afraid to say what he thinks and his pointed observations are well worth taking on board. Here are a few: photography doesn’t always fit into neat, coherent projects, so maybe I need to roll freeform around this world, unfettered, able to photograph whatever and whenever: the sky, my feet, the coffee in my cup, the flowers I just noticed, my friends and lovers, and, because it’s all my life, surely it will make sense? Perhaps.

I have been taking photographs for 30 years now and it has steadily become less important to me that the photographs are about something in the most obvious way. I am interested in more elusive and nebulous subject matter. The photography I most respect pulls something out of the ether of nothingness… you can’t sum up the results in a single line.

There remains a sizeable part of the art world that simply does not get photography. They get artists who use photography to illustrate their ideas, installations, performances and concepts, who deploy the medium as one of a range of artistic strategies to complete their work. But photography for and of itself—photographs taken from the world as it is—are misunderstood as a collection of random observations and lucky moments, or muddled up with photojournalism, or tarred with a semi-derogatory documentary tag.

To photographers, street photography is a Himalayan range that the foolhardy pit themselves against. Or maybe it’s a shibboleth, a mystical visual code that only the indoctrinated members of our cult speak and revere.

Okay, so how do I make sense of that never ending flow, the fog that covers life here and now? How do I see through that, how do I cross that boundary? Do I walk down the street and make pictures of strangers, do I make a drama-tableaux with my friends, do I only photograph my beloved, my family, myself? Or maybe I should just photograph the land, the rocks and trees—they don't move or complain or push back. The old houses? The new houses? Do I go to a war zone on the other side of the world, or just to the corner store, or not leave my room at all? Yes and yes and yes.

...when you have a worthwhile idea, you should be prepared to gamble on it, test it out and see what the world gives back. 

You can go to the Paul Graham archive HERE

Paul Graham - New Orleans, 2005, from the series a shimmer of possibility

Sunday, October 11, 2015


American photographer Michael Ast was kind enough to send me his new self published photobook, TRYING TO FIND THE OCEAN. The photographs were made between 2010 and 2013 mostly in Baltimore a city whose reputation proceeds it, famous for delivering the world John Waters and Frank Zappa. Michael Ast has taken a leaf out of the Waters Zappa songbook with a series of edgy, tough and at the same time beautiful black and white photographs. The work is as much a lamentation as it is an offering of signs of hope in a society that for those of us in more moderate locations seems terminally fucked. Ast makes pictures from the heart and head, the images resonate and pose more questions than there are answers.

TRYING TO FIND THE OCEAN produced in edition of 300, signed and numbered, 94 pages, 8.75 x 11", offset printed with 54 monochrome plates.

You can see more of Michael Ast's work and get yourself a copy of TRYING TO FIND THE OCEAN, HERE.

Friday, October 9, 2015

PHOTOBOOK WEEKEND - East London, this weekend

If you're in London this weekend and into photobooks head to the book market in East London. It's at Unit 7, directly Opposite Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, off Brick Lane, E1. More info HERE. You will find all my favorite British independent photobook publishers. Hoxton Mini Press / Mini Click / Bemojake / Gost Books / Adad Books / Self Publish Be Happy / Trolley Books / Ditto Press /Morel Books. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Photographers whose work I like - No28/ Lydia Panas


American photographer Lydia Panas makes pictures with a rich conceptual and visual intensity. Her particular gift is an ability to make portraits that rise above the usual clichéd seen it all before variety. Her color palette is almost gothic, dark and mysterious. The work perplexes and fascinates drawing you in, there is an almost urgent need to know more about her subjects.

Joerg Colberg has this to say: What I would really like to stress is the visual richness of the work and the connections these group portraits force upon the viewer.  They will pull you in, whether you want it or not, and that certainly is something that any photographer can only wish for. The work is also intensely beautiful.

And Panas talks about her process: There is almost nothing I would rather do than look at someone through the lens of my camera. It's hard to describe what it feels like, a seduction of sorts or a way of getting close. It's got something to do with desire.  We see one another and we don't have to speak or smile. The photograph is a record of our connection; intimate, intense and very present.

Below is a selection of photographs from the series The Mark of Abel. The work was made between 2005 and 2006 and published by Kehrer in 2011. The book is a hardcover edition, 96 pages with 52 images. Readily available on Amazon or Book Depository.

A word about The Mark of Abel -  after twenty years of working exclusively in black and white photography, mostly with her own children, Lydia began inviting people with whom she was less intimate, to her farm in Pennsylvania, to see what difference this might bring to her work. Some of the models are family, some are friends, some are people she knew less intimately. She asked them to bring along their own family members or close friends, people with whom they shared a history. Panas found that with the camera, she was free to watch and capture a sense of the connections between people, those unclear feelings that exist between us. Those moments we feel, yet are so difficult to describe in our connections with others.

You can see more of Lydia Panas's work on her website HERE.

George Eastman House becomes George Eastman Museum


The George Eastman Museum has announced its new name and launched a new website at Formerly George Eastman House, the institution encompasses one of the world’s foremost museums of photography and cinema and the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. The museum’s robust exhibition schedule features contemporary and historic photography, film screenings, and collaborative projects with cultural and educational institutions. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and makes critical contributions in the fields of film preservation and photographic conservation. 

Founded in 1947, the photography collection at the George Eastman Museum is amongst the oldest and best in the world, comprises more than 400,000 photographic objects dating from the introduction of the medium in 1839 through to the present day. It encompasses works made in all major photographic processes, from daguerreotype to digital, for a wide range of purposes, from amateur pursuit to artistic enterprise, from scientific inquiry to documentary record. The collection includes work by more than eight thousand photographers, and it continues to expand.

The museum holds one of the world’s most important collections of nineteenth-century photography, including major holdings of work by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, William Henry Fox Talbot, Southworth & Hawes, Édouard Baldus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Nadar, Mathew Brady, Francis Frith, Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Felice Beato, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, John Thomson, William Henry Jackson, Frederick H. Evans, and Peter Henry Emerson, among others.
The Eastman Museum has received, from the artists or their heirs, important donations of the works of Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis Hine, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Nickolas Muray, Ansel Adams, Harold Edgerton, Aaron Siskind, Victor Keppler, Arnold Newman, John Pfahl, and Roger Mertin. The museum also has acquired, by donation or purchase, significant holdings of works by twentieth-century masters Gertrude Käsebier, Eugène Atget, Francis Bruguière, Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Man Ray, Paul Strand, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, László Moholy-Nagy, Josef Sudek, Margaret Bourke-White, Minor White, Harry Callahan, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander—among many others—as well as more contemporary artists such as Robert Heinecken, Mary Ellen Mark, Danny Lyon, Larry Clark, Lewis Baltz, Nicholas Nixon, and Stephen Shore.

You can go to the George Eastman Museum site HERE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Martin Essl - Le Château Rouge N° 1


Austrian photographer Martin Essl, now based in Paris, has just produced his first book Le Château Rouge – N° 1, published this year by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg Berlin.
Martin was kind enough to send me a copy. Thank you Martin.

My first impression of Château Rouge is that the book is a beautiful object. It looks good and feels good in the hands and the banderole is a nice touch. The work itself is a testament to seeing, and the power of acute observation. Martin's photographs are quiet and well seen, full of wonder, depth and beauty too. I'm now looking forward to seeing Le Château Rouge – N° 2.

You can get a copy of Château Rouge – N° 1 direct from Martin Essl HERE.

Château Rouge – N° 1 / 52 four-color plates / 112 pages / Hardback / Clothbound in banderole / First Edition of 950 / Signed

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Paris Photo announces list of 2015 exhibitors

Paris Photo - 2014

Paris Photo has announced the list of 173 galleries and art book dealers as well as a new gallery sector for Paris Photo 2015 to be held November 12–15 at the Grand Palais. This the 19th edition includes 147 galleries and 26 art book dealers from 35 countries.

You can see the complete list by going to the Paris Photo site HERE.

Paris Photo 2015, a selection of the publishers

Paris Photo 2015, a selection of the galleries

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Eleanor Macnair's - Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh - showing at London's ATLAS GALLERY

Eleanor Macnair -  Child with toy grenade, NYC, 1962 by Diane Arbus

When in London back in May I was introduced to artist Eleanor Macnair through our mutual friend Clare Strand. Eleanor kindly gave me a copy of her wonderful book - Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh. The work is currently showing at London's ATLAS GALLERY, through until November 21st. The book and the show are well worth a look.

The photographs rendered and reproduced in the exhibition range from the well-known and iconic to lesser-known images by contemporary photographers. Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh started by Macnair on a whim in August 2013. The images are produced using Play-Doh, a chopping board, a highball glass as a rolling pin and a blunt Ikea knife. Each photograph takes 1-2 hours to reproduce, paring the image down to just form and colour, before being shot the next morning then disassembled back into the Play-Doh pots. The works themselves no longer exist and the Play-Doh is reused for future renderings, so the photographs are all that remain.

The objective of Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was to encourage viewers to slow down and re-engage with familiar photographs and discover new ones. Eleanor Macnair  says this: On the surface, photographs can condense complex ideas and present them in a straightforward visual language. I take this a step further and pare them down to almost nothing, just form and colour. They are what they are. Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh. It’s my strange tribute to photography.

Eleanor Macnair's Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was published in book form by MacDonaldStrand / Photomonitor in October 2014. The book featured in the Observer’s Best Photography Books of 2015, described as ‘sublimely post-modern’.

You can get a copy of Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh from MacDonadStrand HERE. The book was produced in a limited edition of 500 - with covers in 100 each of 5 Play-Doh colours. 140x165 mm, 144 pages with 100 litho colour reproductions, Hardback with coloured card, laminate and foil blocking.

And see the show at ATLAS GALLERY, 49 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NF (nearest tube is Baker Street)

Eleanor Macnair  - Vivienne in the green dress, NYC, 1980 by Nan Goldin

Friday, October 2, 2015

Paris Apartment - worth checking out for your next visit to the city of light


With Paris Photo just around the corner some of you may be looking for the perfect Paris apartment. Here it is! Mdm Baron's apartment is located in the pleasant 11th neighborhood very near the Marais between Republic and Bastille. Just 5 minutes from the Picasso Museum, the area has a delightful market, wonderful cafes and restaurants and is yet to be discovered by  tourists! The metro is almost at your doorstep and it is a pleasant stroll through the Marais down to the river Seine. The apartment has wifi, a well equipped kitchen, and comfortable double bed. The rate per night is very reasonable with a minimum of 4 nights. I have been staying here for a number of years and it is well worth checking out.

For reservations or more information you can contact:  Elisabeth Baron by email at or Tel: +33 6 84 07 53 79 (mob)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Broomberg & Chanarin at LISSON GALLERY London

Broomberg & Chanarin
Comedy is a man in trouble, 2015

Viewing now until 31 October at London's LISSON GALLEY is a show from Broomberg and Chanarin - Rudiments.
The gallery says this: Tackling politics, religion, war and history, Broomberg and Chanarin prise open the fault lines associated with such imagery, creating new responses and pathways towards an understanding of the human condition. Trained as photographers they now work across diverse media, reacting to the photojournalistic experience of being embedded with the British Army in Afghanistan (and the controlled access to frontline action therein) with an absurd, conceptual riposte, composed of a series of abstract, six-metre swathes of photographic paper exposed to the sun for 20 seconds, for the work The Day Nobody Died (2008). Through painstaking restitution of found objects or imagery, from the long-lost set and discarded footage of the film Catch-22 in Mexico, for example, Broomberg and Chanarin enact an archeology or exorcism of aesthetic and ideological constructs behind the accepted tropes of visual culture, laying bare its foundations for fresh interpretation. Language and literature play an increasing role as material for their multifaceted work, from the philosophical underpinnings in Bertolt Brecht’s War Primer to the sacred texts of the Holy Bible itself, both books having been refashioned and recreated by the artists in their own ambiguous, combatant image.

You can go to Broomberg and Chanarin's site HERE and LISSON GALLERY HERE.

Broomberg & Chanarin
Snoop Dogg, Sylvester Stallone, Sugar Ray Leonard, American Landscapes, 2009