Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes of the well-lit landscape, 8 Jan 2010
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: New Topographics: Roberts Adams . Lewis Baltz . Bernd and Hilla Becher . Joe Deal . Frank Gohlke . Nicholas Nixon . John Schott . Stephen Shore . Henry Wessel, Jr. (Hardcover)
I think Steidl are to congratulated on publishing a beautiful overview of this ground-breaking 1975 New Topographics photo show and the book complements the current US touring exhibition (from June 2009 to January 2012).

The 304 pages are basically in three sections: two essays; portfolio from the ten photographers and finally a review of the original New Topographics catalogue. Of the two essays Britt Salvesen's is remarkably comprehensive (fifty-nine illustrated pages, including nine of notes) and she places the photos in the context of the times and then Alison Nordstrom writes about the Topographic genre from 1975 to now. Included in her essay are a couple of photos of the original exhibit and I was intrigued to see that the framed photos weren't that big, actually not much larger than this book. Incidentally some of the actual prints from the original show are being used in the current tour.

The portfolio section presents a selection of images from the ten photographers: Adams 15; Baltz 18; the Becher's 5; Deal 14; Gohlke 13; Nixon 15; Schott 15; Shore 7 (the only ones in colour) and Wessel 13. Each photo is centered on the page with a caption below and printed in a 175 screen with spot varnish and they do look a treat. The cityscape work of Nicholas Nixon I thought especially stunning. John Schott's selection is from his 'Route 66 Motels' work and it seems his camera style must have influenced plenty of contemporary photographers who specialise in freeway America.

The last fifty-eight pages is fascinating because the original forty-eight page exhibition catalogue is reproduced (with two just readable spreads to a page) followed by a checklist of the 169 photos in the show with captions. Some of these photos are shown large in the portfolio section but I was rather disappointed that they weren't printed bigger than thumbnails; there is plenty of page space after all.

As I said earlier I think Steidl have published a wonderful book about a significant photo event from the last century and very comparable in editorial thoroughness to the stunning book on Frank's 'The Americans' they published last year. Both books must surely be the gold standard about their subjects.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Photographic Milestone, 16 Dec 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: New Topographics: Roberts Adams . Lewis Baltz . Bernd and Hilla Becher . Joe Deal . Frank Gohlke . Nicholas Nixon . John Schott . Stephen Shore . Henry Wessel, Jr. (Hardcover)
Essential document to understand how it influenced later photographic practice. To be read alongside the written work of the participants.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A holy book, 23 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: New Topographics: Roberts Adams . Lewis Baltz . Bernd and Hilla Becher . Joe Deal . Frank Gohlke . Nicholas Nixon . John Schott . Stephen Shore . Henry Wessel, Jr. (Hardcover)
Lewis Baltz, one of the contributors to the original 1975 American exhibition - which this book faithfully commemorates - came to Nottingham Trent in the late 70's when I was there (it was called Trent Polytechnic then). The college technician who operated the carousel projector used to show Baltz's work was obviously not keen on what he was seeing as he sped up and the few of us that didn't sneak away undercover of darkness were only seeing them subliminally by the end. I didn't mind, they didn't mean much to me. Baltz was a bit shaken by this. A couple of indifferent questions later (including one from me out of politeness/embarrassment at the silence) and it was all over. Or was it?

A little later on I got out a Baltz book from the poly library and took it home. My house-mates (town planners, quantity surveyors) were used to casually flicking through art books I brought home while making tea or waiting for someone to roll a joint, they liked Ansel Adams landscapes but... this book brought on out of character rage. I remember the book being flung against the wall in disdain. Everybody 'knows what they like and what they don't'. Um.

Maybe that was the moment it started. The head of my course said later it was like an evangelical conversion. It was definitely an epiphany. I was new to photography and unsure what it's merit actually was, what it was capable of, what it could mean to me. Back then it was struggling for status but Baltz and his work were evidence that photography was a serious art form. It was obvious. I got into the other contribtutors to the movementsoon after (particulary Robert Adams and Joe Deal. BTW the cityscape work of Nicholas Nixon here is new to me and is a revelation as I've only ever seen his portraiture). From all of them it was inspiring to see photographers working so rigorously and with such clear, unsentimental vision.

Baltz must have been disheartened to find that at one of the very few photography courses in the country back then the reaction to his work had been so rejecting. We laughed him out the building. The influence of that way of looking took decades to seep into the language of modern photography, where it now fully informs much serious photography - probably without people being aware of it. That coolness and impersonal clarity.

Baltz didn't know it but he had subtly shifted the furniture in my head and it was never the same again. Just touching this book probably holds similar meaning for me as a true believer laying hands on their holy book be it Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita or Dhammapada.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Most of this work is still fresh and pretty influential., 18 Dec 2014
By 
joe (STAMFORD, Lincs, GB) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: New Topographics: Roberts Adams . Lewis Baltz . Bernd and Hilla Becher . Joe Deal . Frank Gohlke . Nicholas Nixon . John Schott . Stephen Shore . Henry Wessel, Jr. (Hardcover)
If your thinking about it then do it! Most of this work is still fresh and pretty influential.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews