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  • Shooting Stalin
    He was a contemporary of Alfred Eisenstaedt and Erich Salomon, and just as smart and foolhardy, but today he is not nearly as famous as his legendary colleagues. The American James Abbe published superb photo documentaries from Stalin’s Moscow, about the last years of the Weimar Republic, and from the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War.
    Obsessed and fearless, Abbe got close to the dictators of Europe — Hitler, Mussolini, Franco. In 1932, he was the only American given permission to photograph Stalin. Photographs of the rulers of the world became his specialty — “Shooting dictators is great fun!”
    In addition, Abbe made contact with Russian film directors and artists such as Sergej Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov und Vsevolod Meyerhold, indulging his passion for film, theater, dance and, above all, whatever happened backstage. Many of his pictures, portraits of Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin, have become icons of modern photography. Others, like his portrait of Thomas Mann, remained unknown until their recent discovery. This book provides a cross-section of the rich catalogue of Abbe’s work.
  • Unified Message
    Fashion photography and fashion drawing are not only images of creations, but creations themselves — productions of beauty, of outfit and of lifestyle. They mediate images of fashion’s fast trade which, as visual statements, are long-lasting, and extending beyond the day. In Unified Message photographers and draughtsmen carry on an unusual dialogue: photographs by Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, and Alexei Hay — three of the most important fashion photographers of our time — were questioned by Mats Gustafson, Ruben Toledo, and François Berthoud — three fashion illustrators of international renown. Here, the radiating power of fashion is seen in the interplay of images.
  • Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs
    The importance of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans appears so clear today, so indisputable, that one hesitates to draw attention to it for fear of stating the obvious. Yet in 1935, when the New Yorker Julien Levy, one of the most influential collectors of the 20th century, conceived the exhibition Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs by Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans & Alvarez Bravo, no one could imagine the eminent place the trio would occupy in the avant-garde of their time, nor the immense influence the photographers would have on future generations.
    Gathered together here again for the first time since 1935, these period prints represent an exceptional set of essential and sometimes unknown images. This selection of early works of three masters of photography places us face to face with the history of the medium in the making.
    The show in New York in 1935 was one of the first exhibitions Henri Cartier-Bresson ever had. This book is the last project he considered before leaving us — the wheel has come full circle.
  • Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia
    The photographs, drawings and texts which make up the Encyclopedia are part of a collection of 3,600 tattoos compiled over 33 years in St Petersburg’s notorious Kresty prison by one of the prison guards, Danzig Baldayev. The tattoos were his passport into a secret world where he became something of an ethnographer, recording the secrets of a closed society.
    The tattoos are artful, distasteful, sexually explicit and sometimes simply strange, reflecting the lives and mores of the convicts. There are skulls with swastikas, naked women, a smiling Al Capone, assorted demons, medieval knights in armor, daggers and blood, benign images of Christ, mosques and minarets, sweet-faced mothers and babies, tanks and a horned Lenin.
    Once the criminal language and tattoos were the codes of a restricted world, but the language has filtered into society — the tattoos remain a secret.
  • The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California
    In the late 1960s and early 1970s Lewis Baltz became fascinated by the stark, repellent, man-made landscape that was rolling over California's then still-agrarian terrain. Baltz made a number of projects on this subject, the best known, The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California was published as a limited edition book by Leo Castelli in 1974.
  • Réjane — Queen of the Boulevard
    Beautiful, intelligent, quick-witted and highly talented, Gabrielle Réju, known as Réjane, was, along with Sarah Bernhardt, the most celebrated French actress of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A brilliantly luminous "queen of the boulevard," she performed in London, New York and Paris. Critics were dumb struck by her modern style of representation, described as Nerve art by contemporaries. Her greatest successes were in contemporary plays by Meilhac, Sardou, Bernstein and Bataille.
    Unlike her friend and professional rival Sarah Bernhardt, Réjane — who ran her own popular theatre in Paris — has fallen into oblivion.
    Réjane — Queen of the Boulevard is a book which puts Réjane into her rightful place in the history of La Belle Epoque. It includes photographs and studio portraits by such famous contemporaries as Paul Nadar and Charles Reutlinger, and a knowledgeable essay by François Baudot.
  • Breaks in Communication
    It was surely not coincidental that immediately after Dorothy Bohm switched to color photography, torn advertising posters, graffiti, and vernacular murals began to emerge as a persistent theme in her work. At first, it probably appealed to her as material in whose unpredictable but often seductive range of colors she recognized the potential for selection and re-visualization; but while the undoubted allure on this level must have resonated with her painterly instincts, she soon appreciated its deeper significance.
    For Dorothy Bohm, a Lithuanian refugee who had lost touch with most of her family when she arrived as a teenager in England in 1939, a sense of loss is acute and ever-present. It is this which ensures that her compelling images convey another layer of meaning: they are documents — both witty and melancholic — of a transient world. Breaks in Communication presents a selection of these images.
  • Areal
    From 1992 to 2002 at the edge of a major German city, Joachim Brohm documented the transformation of an industrial zone characterized by unplanned growth into a modern and futuristic residential and business park. With the patience of a botanist and the curiosity of a cat, he dedicated himself to this area of backyards, enclosures, piles of materials and, later, to the deserted grounds, the geometrically laid-out streets and the rising new constructions.
    During his long-term project Brohm worked meticulously to capture the changes in the urban infra-structure. His is a sober everyday world marked by a huge number of trivial details. The photographs’ finely balanced composition give evidence of the ambiguity in the seemingly familiar and the permanent flow of reality.
  • Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information
    For more than a year David Byrne used the ubiquitous sales and presentation program PowerPoint as an art medium. This book of images and essays also contains a DVD which plays 5 of these pieces accompanied by original music. The book itself contains a dozen new written pieces and a lot of beautiful (subjectively speaking) images from the PowerPoint pieces that feature plastic overlays, foldouts and a whole lot more. But what is it about?
    It is about taking subjective, even emotional, information and presenting it in a familiar audiovisual form — using a medium in a way that is different, and possibly better, than what was intended. It is representing one thing by another thing, the other thing not the first thing and neither thing resembling the third thing.
  • JFK for President
    Last remaining first edition stock.
  • Insult to Injury
    In 2001, as part of their ongoing obsession with Francisco Goya’s work, Jake and Dinos Chapman purchased one of the few remaining sets of the Disasters of War prints, made from the artist’s original plates by the Goya Foundation in 1937. Produced by Goya between 1810 and 1820 as an attack on the horrors of war, and its supposed romance and idealism, this group of 80 images has since become emblematic of art’s moral voice, as well as a powerful template for the representation of the gross insanity of conflict. Disasters of War has been idolised by generations of artists, notably Picasso and Dalí, who were both directly inspired by Goya’s anti-war polemic.
    The Chapmans meticulously “rectified” their Goya prints, drawing on top of what must be the most revered set of prints in existence. The artists superimposed cartoon faces, either those of clowns or puppies, onto figures Goya had intended as allegories of human suffering. Entitled Insult to Injury, this reworked series has been seen variously as an evil and meaningless desecration by vandals, and as the ultimate homage to Goya’s masterpiece, a fitting extension of his despair.
    In making the book that records this new work, the reproductions were made directly from the embellished Goya prints themselves. This means an unprecedented print quality for the images, which are reproduced at actual size, and in four colours. The 80 plates are complemented by a previously unpublished text by Jake Chapman.
  • Record Pictures: Photographs from the Archive
    Before the invention of photography, civil engineers employed topographic artists to record the progression of their projects. Termed “Record Pictures”, these illustrations followed the tradition of the Dutch topographical landscapes of the seventeenth century, combining the qualities of detail and clarity with the objectivity of technical drawings. As such, Record Pictures had a scientific rather than an artistic purpose.
    This is exactly how photography developed in its infancy. Photography’s prime value was regarded as its ability to make highly detailed, objective (and relatively inexpensive) records. Industry was quick to harness the new medium to make record pictures. Significantly, one of the founders of Britain’s Photographic Society was a leading civil engineer. This original application gave rise to a genre of landscape photography that has not been properly recognised.
    Record Pictures: Photographs from the Archive of the Institution of Civil Engineers represents the photographic jewels of arguably the finest collection in Britain. Spanning a period of 75 years from the mid-nineteenth century, the book contains previously unpublished examples drawn from across Europe, Africa, Australasia, the Far East and Latin America. Record Pictures are the unacknowledged foundation of the history of photography. In his introductory essay, the author Michael Collins demonstrates how this fundamental approach continues unchanged, only now it is no longer industry that applies these principles but such eminent artists as Bernd and Hilla Becher and Thomas Struth, proponents of a contemporary art movement.
  • Aiko T
    Aiko T. comes walking in, demonstratively sporting geisha sandals. Pale face framed by pitch black plaits, a harmony of black and white. As Michel Comte would later discover, she proved an improbable muse whose brilliant serenity steadily built to a state of possessed Dionysian abandon. During the photo session Aiko T. became her own director in her one-woman show. By turns groaning, moaning and crying, she achieved three orgasms, fondling her genitals and squeezing her breasts and nipples.
  • Charlie Chaplin. A Photo Diary
    A few years ago, a sensational discovery was made when an extensive photo archive was found in Charles Chaplin’s estate. It consists of thousands of glass-negatives, negatives and photoprints of Chaplin’s life. Chaplin documented his life with passionate enthusiasm: private photographs taken by his friends, his family and his children have been collected as well as »official« photographs made during shootings and work in the studios.
    These photographs have never been published before and from this tremendous find photographer Michel Comte has put together a sensitive album which shows a Charlie Chaplin hitherto unknown. It covers his trips around the world, the »snapshots« with artist colleagues, persons in public life, with relatives, children and grandchildren. The large-format volume begins in 1909, and ends with a color photograph taken immediately prior to Chaplin’s death. This book presents an artist who was »acting« throughout his life, and who was also always in the limelight in his private life.
  • Michael by Michel
    Michael Schumacher by Michel Comte: An intimate photographic portrait of the greatest racing driver in history, by a modern master of photography.
    With unrivalled access to Michael Schumacher at work and at home, Michel Comte built up an archive of the Formula One World Champion over eight years. This book is a frank portrait of the man who has broken every record in Grand Prix racing history, telling the story of the elite sportsman who shies from the glare of constant publicity and the family man who cherishes his time at home more than anything. This sumptuously printed, case bound book is an exquisite object for the collector interested in fine books, Formula One and the photography of Michel Comte.
  • People and Places with no Name
    There is only one frame left on the last roll of film in his old Rollei camera. When he presses down the shutter release the child dies. The slowly closing eyelids, the mouth halfway open as if in wonder, softly caressing sunlight: it is one of the most painful photographs reproduced in Michel Comte's book People and Places With No Name. During the last ten years Michel Comte has persistently covered the world's crisis areas. Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jordan, Tibet, Sudan, Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, Brazil, Israel, Zaire are all topics of his photography: a story of the dark side of this planet. His photographs seem to show a wholly different age, another century. Time and time again Comte causes the viewer to realise that what he documented belongs to the here and now. He encounters people whose faces tell more about fear and hope than any spoken word ever could. There are only a few pictures showing wounded people but each speaks of the vulnerability of the soul. This carefully composed book has been made in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and shows in an impressive way what photo-reportage, even today, is still capable of conveying.
  • Beautiful Frames
    The Swedish artist Dawid has for over thirty years been making series of photographically based artworks examining the nature of the medium and exploring issues of perception. He began photographing in the late sixties, documenting incongruous moments with a wry sense of humour, until he established his signature style of stark graphic illustration, initiated by the seminal Rost series. Recent work has utilised the possibilities of digitalisation and this book elaborates the vision of an image-maker whose life's work reflects, criticises and parallels the chequered history and changing status of photography.
    This beautifully designed and extensive book constitutes the first comprehensive survey of Dawid's work. The publication includes fictional and factual essays by Michael Mack, considering the artist's influences and context — personal, cultural and art historical — and exploring the psychological, philosophical and often bizarre depths of his work.
  • FLOH
    The images in FLOH are photographs discovered by Tacita Dean in flea markets across Europe and America. These portraits, holiday snapshots, documents of banal occurrences or spectacular views have all been retrieved and given a new existence. They keep the silence of the flea market; the silence they had when they were found; the silence of the lost object.
  • Seven Books
    Book One: Selected Writings is an illustrated collection of all the artist’s texts written around her films and other projects, from 1992 to 2003.
    Book Two: 12.10.02–21.12.02 is a reprint of the artist’s book made in relation to her show at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in October 2002. The title of the book is the exhibition dates, which in turn relate to the discovery and filming of Marcel Broodthaers’ studio, his ‘Section Cinema’, in Düsseldorf and the works that were inspired by this.
    Book Three: W. G. Sebald is a hommage to the German writer who was killed in a car accident in 2001. It takes its starting point from a reference in his book, The Rings of Saturn, which has a direct family connection to the artist. It then weaves a meandering narrative between history and autobiography, England and Germany, and ends up, strangely enough, in Texas.
    Book Four: The Russian Ending shows a set of twenty photogravures made by the artist in 2001. Using found postcards showing tragedies, she made them into fictional sad endings to films, borrowing from the early days of the Danish Film Industry that necessitated making two endings: a happy one for the American audience and a sad one for the Russians.
    Book Five: Boots is a soliloquy presented in three languages: English, French and German. Each version is a different fiction of the movement and musings of the character, Boots, in a villa in Portugal. The book has the appearance of a film script, but is in fact a transcription of the action in a film with the same name.
    Book Six: Complete Works and Filmography, 1991–2003 is a comprehensive illustrated list of all the exhibited films, projects and related works.
    Book Seven: Essays includes texts by Julia Garimorth, Rita Kersting, Jean-Luc Nancy and Michael Newman with a foreword by Laurence Bossé, Senior Curator at ARC/Museé d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
  • The Omega Suites
    During the early nineties, Lucinda Devlin systematically took photographs of gas chambers, injection rooms, electric chairs and death cells in rural towns and cities in the United States. She entitled the series “Omega Suites” — alluding to the final letter of the Greek alphabet as a metaphor for the end. Seemingly an examination of the death penalty, her austere, haunting images are actually metaphors that question the culture in America, where 70 percent of citizens support the death penalty. More than 3000 Americans have been sentenced to death and are in final holding cells, where they wait an average of 10 years before being executed.
    In Lucinda Devlin’s photographs, the death cell represents aspects of American society and its accompanying mentality. One image shows an electric chair in the bright yellow color of American school buses which prison officers named “Yellow Mama”. Wooden paneling and carpets lend an almost cozy atmosphere to the setting. Another electric chair placed in the center of a room represents the character of a throne amid emptiness and clinical sterility. Elsewhere, the somber cross-like stretcher used for lethal injections suggests that executions are religious rituals, replete with a celebratory audience (seated on chairs opposite).
    Icy and compelling, the photographs present a clearly defined and hermetically sealed concept of the world which is characterized by taking extreme measures against the ominous — instead of attempting integration. They do so in a precise, exquisite and seductive way while intellectually repelling us.
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