Thursday, December 15, 2016

What is the greatest ever photobook? A survey by Source magazine


Source is a quarterly photography magazine, available in print and as a digital edition, published in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They publish emerging photographic work and engage with the latest in contemporary photography through news, thoughtful features and reviews of the latest exhibitions and books from Ireland and the UK. The Source website brings together an archive of writing and pictures from the magazine alongside current blogs and features. You can check Source out HERE

What is the greatest ever photobook? Source conducted an international poll to discover the answer to this question, asking photographers, publishers, critics, booksellers, collectors and others to nominate their favourite books of all time. They have collated the nominations into a top ten list and then lists of runners up. 

Books receiving the most votes:

1 The Americans, Robert Frank, 1958.
2 Evidence, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, 1977.
3 The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Nan Goldin, 1986.
4 New York, William Klein, 1956.
5= In Flagrante, Chris Killip, 1988.
5= Farewell Photography, Daido Moriyama, 1972.
7 Ravens, Masahisa Fukase, 1986.
8 The Map, Kikuji Kawada, 1965.
9= Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, 1972.
9= Sentimental Journey, Nobuyoshi Araki, 1971.
9= William Eggleston's Guide, 1976.
9= For a language to come, Takuma Nakahira, 1970.
13= American Photographs, Walker Evans, 1938.
13= The Decisive Moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1952.
13= Waffenruhe, Michael Schmidt, 1987.
16= Redheaded Peckerwood, Christian Patterson, 2012.
16= U-NI-TY, Michael Schmidt, 1996. 

My list and comments:

The New Color Photography, Ed: Sally Eauclaire, 1981.
William Eggleston, The Democratic Forest, 1989.
Lee Friedlander, Like a One-Eyed Cat, 1989.
Larry Sultan, Pictures From Home, 1992.
Gabriel Orozco, Photographs, 2004.
Collier Schorr, Neighbors / Nachbarn, 2006.
Paul Graham, A Shimmer of Possibility, 2007.
New Topographics, 1975.
Sacha Maric, Good Mother and Father, 2012.
Mitch Epstein, New York Arbor, 2013. 

My criteria? Well, it's to do with a bookwork that resonates and doesn't give too much away, is demanding and beckons me back, has a sort of energy about it. Visually strong, of clear voice, is authentic and intelligent. Certainly not clever. The work is convincing and clearly comes from the artist's heart and head.

You can see the full list of poll results HERE indexed by voters name.

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