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Paul Strand: The Garden at Orgeval: Selection and Essay by Joel Meyerowitz [Hardcover]

Paul Strand , Joel Meyerowitz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 30.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
T&HFL12 After a lifetime of working on a series of collective portraits in far-flung places such as Mexico; Ghana; Italy; Tir aMhurain, Scotland; and his adoptive country, France, an aging Paul Strand decided to concentrate on still lifes and the stony beauty of his own garden at Orgeval, France, as a site in which to distill his discoveries as a photographer. The work that constitutes The Garden at Orgeval is marked by close and careful study of the forms and patterns within natureof tiny buttonshaped flowers, cascading winter branches, and fierce snarls of twigs. While the images bear the same directness and precise vision that is quintessentially Strand, the work also reflects a growing metaphorical turn. Renowned photographer Joel Meyerowitzwhose own affinity toward Strands Orgeval series stems from a lifetime of photographing in different genres and ultimately returning to nature as an enduring subjectwill select the photographs in the book, and respond to them in an accompanying personal essay, reflecting on issues, including the contemplation of ones garden and growing old. Beautifully produced in a modest size, in the manner of a volume of poems, this books task is to do credit to Strands final work, both as an individual and as a key figure in Modernist photography.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111249
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 21.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb photography 15 Jun 2013
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I agree with just about everything said above. A beautifully produced and printed book. The essay is not very informative but was never meant to be- it is one gifted photographer's response to the images. It really is a bargain at the offer price and although some of the pictures are less appealing than others there is much beauty within. This could well become a classic.
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I came across this book in one of the many "top 10s" of 2012.
Even if it was not much better than a thumbnail on screen, the cover was inviting enough to prompt me to purchase it. And true to my hunch when the book arrived the cover was even more beautiful, having been printed on a wonderfully tactile cloth. The chosen image (with its heavy green cast) is suggestive of explorations in some lost eden.

However, this is The Garden at Orgeval where Strand passed the remaining years of his life (late 1950s to the early 1970s). Perhaps due to reduced mobility or waning wanderlust Strand focused on extensively photographing his and his wife's garden. In keeping with Strand's meticulous eye for detail, both of his subject and executed work, the reproduction quality in this book is exceptional.

In particular - and as a photographer - I love the profound exploration and recording of such a potentially "limited" space. Strand turns his semi-wild garden into an extensive wilderness to be deeply engaged with and understood. Indeed, I would suggest that the garden became to Strand what Yosemite was to Ansel Adams. This is one of those rare works where every now and then you'll want to open a single page and contemplate that one image: for me its 'Fruit Blossoms, 1965' or 'Our Willow, Winter, 1970'.

I did, however, feel that too many images were selected and that a tighter editing was required. Perhaps it was the rush of holding such a legend's final work and earnestly wanting to pay due homage. I also feel that the opening short quote from Strand that 'the artist's world is limitless ... ' more than sufficed for an understanding and reading of this body and that Meyerowitz's essay was unnecessary (and not particularly revealing).
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master photographer's last work 19 May 2013
By R. M. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
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If asked to name my favorite photographer, I would attempt to duck the question, but if pressed enough, I would say Paul Strand. For me, his work strikes the right balance between documentary and aesthetic. Plus, it's black-and-white, for which I have a strong preference.

In 1955, Strand and his third wife bought a house with an old garden in the small village of Orgeval, twenty miles outside Paris. The garden and its trees, vines, fruit, flowers, and organic detritus became Strand's principal subject over the last two decades of his life. There, he reworked "the themes that had preoccupied him throughout his career--abstraction, modernism, and the notion of place." Those are the words of Joel Meyerowitz, who contributes a brief introduction to THE GARDEN AT ORGEVAL and who selected the forty-one photographs included in the book. Meyerowitz entitles his introduction "The Gravity of Time", and he sees in Strand's Orgeval photographs a "return to simplicity" typical of artists near the ends of their lives when they "discover the meaning of the seasons, or meditate on nature, or death".

That's Meyerowitz's interpretation. I am not so knowledgeable, or audacious, as to attempt an over-arching characterization of the book. I simply revel in individual photographs, any one of fifteen or so I would happily hang in my house alongside two earlier Strand prints already there. The book is rather expensive, but (save for one carelessly strewn apostrophe on p. ix) it is beautifully produced, as is the norm for Aperture. I know that I will return to it from time to time in my remaining years, Insh'allah.
4.0 out of 5 stars A different view from Paul Strand 4 Nov 2013
By paul richardson - Published on Amazon.com
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A nice, concise volume - too concise - but only for serious fans of Paul Strand. Others might find it too slight for their tastes.
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful study 12 Mar 2013
By Ken - Published on Amazon.com
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Paul Strand's work in his later years is a beautiful study in shape, form and detail. The black and white photos are rich in depth and feelings, a wonderful book.
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