Henry Wessel — FIVE BOOKS

1.500,00 DKK

New

In stock

Description

Henry Wessel – Five Books in Slipcase: California and the West / Odd Photos / Las Vegas / Real Estate Photographs / Night Walk. COMPLETE SET

Gottingen: Steidl, 2005. Very heavy square 4to. 154 pages, 5 softcovers in a slipcase. Fine clean set / as new

1. edition

“What a prodigy of wonders Mr. Wessel has bequeathed us. In only five small softbound volumes, packaged in a plain white box, he has crammed in all the emptiness in the western United States. Working from a mostly black-and-white, small-format aesthetic, Wessel brings us back to the root excitement of the photographic frame, as interpreted by Frank, Friedlander, O’Sullivan, Winogrand, Josephson, Robert Adams and many others. His style is deadpan, with a gentle grey texture reminiscent of southern California beach sand at high noon. All emotional thunder is flattened to the tepid middling tones of windless desert glare and hissing nighttime sprinklers. His work is divided into five categories for easy reference, though the overall visual project remains remarkably consistent throughout: California and the West; Odd Photos; Las Vegas; Real Estate Photographs; and Night Walk. In the course of traversing Wessel’s terrain, one begins to realize that the titles could be readily transposed: his Vegas pictures are ineffable and odd; the people that populate California and the West are really a bronzed form of real estate; and his night walks epitomize the elegant creepiness of desert living in the heart of Los Angeles. The hardest thing to pin down in this work is the photographer. His shadow appears periodically, a la Friedlander, but the short texts that begin each book are mostly either factual, detailing when and where the pictures were made, or more personal meditations on light, time and the joys of the precognitive photographic chase and capture. But what does Wessel think about the places and people he sees, frames, freezes? That may be beside the point. In the end, the pleasure of responding to the world by pushing a button is its own justification; the thrill of discovery in the field (and at leisure, examining the collected loot) is eloquently summed up in Wessel’s forward to California and the West: “The process of photographing is a pleasure, eyes open, receptive, sensing, and at some point, connecting. It’s thrilling to be outside your mind, your eyes far ahead of your thoughts.” PHIL HARRIS. – “The first Henry Wessel publication by Steidl. From the beginning of the collaboration it was clear that any book must do justice to Wessel’s technique of working in series, of creating self-contained photo-stories. The result for Five Books was to create a slipcase housing individual volumes, each dedicated to a particular theme: “California and the West”, “Odd Photos”, “Las Vegas”, “Real Estate Photographs” and “Night Walk”. This approach has been honored in all of Wessel’s Steidl books, including the soon-to-be-released “Walkabout / Man Alone / Botanical Census”. Five Books represents Wessel’s sustained effort to describe the contemporary vernacular landscape of Southern California and the American West. From his early work in the 1970s to his series in Las Vegas of the early 2000s, Wessel’s wit and insight illuminate the unusual and iconic in a world rich in nuance, humor and irony”

Henry Wessel — FIVE BOOKS

1.500,00 DKK

In stock