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Mnemosyne: Photographic Works 1974-2004 Hardcover – 25 Jan 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Scalo (25 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3039390031
  • ISBN-13: 978-3039390038
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 26 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,165,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Published on the occasion of the artist's retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales which tours to National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in April 2005. Henson's compelling images invoke the descriptive powers of two words of contradictory allusion and sentiment: baroque and brooding.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By spam on 15 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Bill Henson's work is stunning and disturbing. Mnemosyne contains some incredible work, including a series of Rembrandt-esque photographs of audience members in the Paris Opera, with luminous faces glowing from the dark page, the subtle and private emotions captured perfectly; Other work may not be to everyones taste - apparantly his Bosche-style photos of nude teenagers used junkies as models, and the imagery is not easy - but while disturbing, the pictures have a haunting beauty, and his low light technique is second to none.

The only thing that detracts from this superb retrospective of Henson's work is the written commentary - The writer clearly thought 'Why explain things succinctly in 50 words, when I can use 10000 indescipherable paragraphs of pseudo-intellectual indulgent art-toss?'

Ignore the writing - the photos speak for themselves!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
Simply wonderful! 16 Oct. 2009
By Juan Curto Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A catalogue of the anthologic exhibition of the acclaimed yet controversial Australian photographer Bill Henson. Henson is a master of light, or rather darkness, and he works with 2 specific genres: portraiture and landscape. He is present in the most important museum collections in the world.

Also by the same artist:

Bill Henson: Lux et Nox
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An exquisite photographic journey 27 Jun. 2005
By Egnold Slurth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Haven't seen a Bill Hensen photograph? Then you haven't been to the right places. Bill's imagery is a breathtaking expression of Human Art; his startling use of light and shadow is incredibly original. I'm absolutely sure that he is the next photographic discovery for fashion and editorial. In the realm if not ahead of photo-light masters like Paulo Reversi, Andreas Bitesnitch or Lindbergh, Bill's work is ethereal and transporting.

This particular volume collects all of Bill's work, which is a great study of how a world class artist comes to be. A must have art photo book. Really, this is essential art.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Impressive Catalog Surveying the Work of Photographer Bill Henson, With Only Minor Shortcomings 4 Dec. 2005
By ReviewerWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of this big book consists of 407 photographs in mainly untitled 1974-2004 sequences and series (S&S). About half the photos were in Henson's two 2005 solo exhibitions in Australia. Amazon's new 300-word limit does not allow discussion of all the S&S, so here are my observations on selected ones grouped by the emotions they may produce.

The sexual content of at least three black and white S&S may be disturbing. "Untitled sequence 1977" (pages 36-51) has photos of a young man masturbating. "Untitled sequence 1979" (68-99) has photos of a young boy, a crowd, and parts of a boy's body. "Untitled 1979/80" (176-191) shows photos of a nude boy.

Two series provoke a sense of mystery. "Untitled 1980/82" (135-175) contains B&W photos of people in a crowd looking worried. "Untitled 1977/87" photos (192-217) are highly manipulated (e.g., streaked, multiple-negative) B&W images.

"Disgust" was my reaction to "Untitled 1983/84" (243-281), B&W images of paintings in museums, baroque architecture, etc. juxtaposed with staged images of teenagers (some naked, dirty, "bleeding," and/or "dead").

I'm not sure what three color S&S mean. "Untitled 1985/86" (284-327) switches between young people and architecture. "Paris Opera Project 1990/91" (359-381) alternates pictures of "opera-goers" and the outdoors. Pages 403-435 have cut-and-taped 1992/93-1996/97 photocollages.

Finally, the awesome color photos of adolescents at night (446-493) are similar to Henson's 2002 book "Lux et Nox."

My only minor qualms about the book are: (1) The hardcovers should have been thicker and stiffer. (2) There are no "installation views." (3) The font size (for the commentaries interspersed among the photos and the interview of Henson) is small.

Mnemosyne represented memory in Greek mythology, and this book is certainly memorable. Use Amazon.com to buy it!
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