Photography Hot Picks for the New Year

A belated Happy New Year to one and all! Have you all now opened up your Countryfile calendars for 2019? For our own celebration of all things PHOTOGRAPHY and IMAGE we thought we’d kick off the year with some hot pick highlights. We’re lucky as this is a very strong section of our current list, and there are many excellent titles (both recent and back list) for us to choose from:

First up are the beautiful pictures of Icelandic horses from Swedish artist Susanne Wolfström (Black Lava Fairy Tale: Susanne Wolfström). Here she follows these amazing, majestic creatures across the Nordic landscape, taking pictures showing their at oneness with nature and picking up on their major role in Norse mythology. This should become a timeless classic.

It’s really important that people define their gender in their own terms, and this is the theme of Bernd Ott and Emily Besa’s book, All the People: Bernd Ott/Emily Besa. Sensitively conceived, the photographic portraits tell intimate stories of people that are based in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles and New York.

THE OPÉRA Volume VII is the latest collection of images from the Magazine for Classic and Contemporary Nude Photography, with this 7th volume concentrating on the viewers’ powers of imagination. Always connected to the corporeal, can the constraints of the human body be overcome by fantasy and knowledge? THE OPÉRA pretty much conveys the wisdom that no matter what, people will always be interested in people.

John Kippin: Based on a True StorySince his career began, John Kippin has been a hugely important figure in helping photography emerge as an independent art form in the UK. Eight essays from leading scholars and curators honour the artist’s significant contribution. His interest in landscape often takes a socio-political slant, and his recent body of works, EUR Rome, is featured here and examines the fascist architecture of the EUR zone in Italy.

How does migration impact people’s psychology? This is a theme picked up in Andrew Jackson’s photographs in From a Small Island (Andrew Jackson: From a Small Island). Inspired by his mother’s story of her migration from Jamaica to Britain in 1956, the images tell of an engaging unresolved trauma often felt by those leaving behind family and friends to start a new life overseas.

Other Stories/Historia Bravas picks up on internationally acclaimed photographer Karen Miranda Rivadeneira’s Ecuadorian heritage, focusing on her close relationships with the women in her extended family, and especially her mother and grandmother. The end result is both intimate and personal and it opens up an insightful look at her South American culture.

Next up is a personal recommendation after recently attending the exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition runs until 22 April and is well worth a visit. Parr – a photography icon – studied in Manchester in the 1970s, and the book takes us through his images of people in their Salford front rooms, through his retail-based project of the 1980s and on to more recent years, ending with new shots of Mancunians taken in 2018. One thing you might not have twigged is that he completely ditched black and white for colour very early on in his career. Return to Manchester: Martin Parr is selling fast, and deserves its almost premature bestseller status!

Raoul Hausmann: Photographs 1927-1936 covers an intense 10 year period in Raoul Hausmann’s life when the Nazi’s came in to power and he fled to Ibiza to live in exile. Although best well known for his Berlin Dada assemblages, photo-montages and optophonetic poems, he was always an avid photographer. This book shows the entirety of his photographic works from the interwar years – both documentary and lyrical in style, offering great insight into his oeuvre.

Picture Industry: A Provisional History of the Technical Image. 1844-2018 comes from artist Walead Beshty to go alongside his 2018/19 curated exhibition of the same name in LUMA, Arles. In a nutshell, it acts as an anthology of historical and theoretical texts all about the transformation in the picture-making and picture-distribution industries, including the key artworks and key publications. This title is comprehensive and definitely worth a read.

Edmund Clark: My Shadow’s Reflection is the result of the artist’s residency in Europe’s largest therapy-only prison, HMP Grendon. Taking the format of an artist’s book, the title mirrors his Ikon exhibition In Place of Hate that comprised not only photography but also installation and video and includes powerful inmate testimonials.

Axel Hütte: Frühwerk (Early Works) / Night and Day: This two volume set collects together two distinct bodies of work for the artist. In Early Works he concentrates on large format portraits of colleagues and friends, as well as stairwells and corridors and other fragments of architecture. For Night and Day, he concentrates on nocturnal and daytime pictures that were taken between the years 1995-2017, starting with landscape images from Canada and USA, then moving on to cityscapes in Europe, America and Asia.

In 1977 John Goto taught film and photography evening classes at a Youth Club in Lewisham, South London. He took intimate photos of the participants and then left the negatives languishing in his studio until he re-visited them for the creation of this book and he called the series Lovers’ Rock. The title comes from a musical sub genre that came out of the London reggae scene in the 1970s: John Goto: Lovers’ Rock.

In 13 Presidents: Marisa J. Futernick  artist Marisa J. Futernick offers a vision of America that is both invented and true. In 2014 she embarked on a 10,000 mile journey across the US visiting each of the 13 presidential libraries, taking pictures of the homes where all former presidents were born and also photos of where they last rested. Interwoven between the images is a suite of short stories, where each past president acts as protagonist. It begs the question, what does all this all say about the current political landscape in the US, if anything at all?

Michael Schmidt: Waffenruhe was first published in 1987 and is often included in a list of the Most Influential Photographic Books of All Time. Here his pictures of cityscapes and nature, taken around the still-then-divided-Berlin, offer high contrast black and white details that give both an atmospheric and a subjective take expressing the sense of Berlin life before The Wall finally came down.

Richard Mosse used a super-telephoto military camera to take photographs highlighting the current refugee crisis in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The camera can see clearly beyond 50km, and can accurately zone in on an individual from as far away as 6.3km. The book, which was published for an exhibition at Barbican Curve in 2017 features installation views, past works, as well as an interview with the artist.

Finally Janet Mendelsohn: Varna Road collects together Mendelsohn’s pictures of Balsall Heath from 1967-1969, which was then Birmingham’s largest Red Light District and a place of work for almost 200 prostitutes. It provides a great insight into the women’s lives, their domestic arrangements and personal relationships and acts as a ‘tool for cultural analysis’. Depicting everyday life, it also shows a transforming community, as South Asian and Caribbean immigration increased and ongoing poverty issues ensued. The book accompanied her exhibition at Ikon in 2016.

And, as we mentioned, this list is not exhaustive! Have a browse at all of our photography titles, and see what else might attract your love of reading. We’re really proud to work with the publishers that we do, and to distribute all their amazing titles.

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Posted on 7th January 2019
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