Following on from the success of the first volume, The Photobook: A History volume II brings the story of the Photobook fully up to date. It features publications by many well-known photographers ranging from Man Ray, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol to Christian Boltanski, Stephen Shore ad Sophie Calle by way of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Lewis Baltz. Several innovative books by unknown photographers are also included, offering an opportunity to discover these overlooked works.
Photographers have been making photobooks – bound collections of their work – ever since the birth of photography in the early nineteenth century. While for some photographers the single print is considered the ultimate expression of their work, for many others the photobook is the most important vehicle for the widespread communication of their vision.
This second volume includes over 200 publications carefully selected by the renowned contemporary photographer, Martin Parr, whose passion for the photobook has made him a world authority on the subject, and the critic and curator Gerry Badger. All the books are accompanied by extensive commentaries by Badger and are illustrated as three-dimensional objects, providing a true sense of them as art works in their own right.
From Édouard-Denis Baldus’s magnificent volume for the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée Railway Company of 1861 to Geert van Kesteren’s hard-hitting indictment of the war in Iraq, Why Mister, Why? of 2004, the authors have chosen what they believe to be the most artistically and culturally important photobooks ever made to create this comprehensive and visually exciting history of the medium.
Martin Parr’s celebrated photographs bridge the divide between art and documentary photography. His studies of the idiosyncrasies of mass culture and consumerism around the world, his innovative imagery, and his prolific output have placed him firmly at the forefront of contemporary art. Parr is a member of the international photo agency Magnum Photos, and has recently extended his interest to film-making. He is an avid collector and maker of photobooks. His own photobooks include The Last Resort (1986), Common Sense (1999) and Boring Postcards (Phaidon Press, 1999). The extensive and only monograph on his work, Martin Parr by Val Williams, is published by Phaidon Press.
Gerry Badger is a critic, curator and photographer. His published books include Collecting Photography (2002) and John Gossage: Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2005) as well as books on Eugène Atget and Chris Killip (both published by Phaidon Press, 2001). He has curated a number of exhibitions, including ‘The Photographer as Printmaker’ for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1981) and ‘Through the Looking Glass: Post-war British Photography’ (1989) for the Barbican Arts Centre, London.