PUBLISHER
First Print Press

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Paperback, 5 x 7.25 in. / 106 pgs / 141 bw.

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Catalog: SPRING 2019 p. 1   

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ISBN 9780999843819 TRADE
List Price: $24.95 CDN $0.00

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BROWSE THE 2018 FALL CATALOG

From 'Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin' to 'The Swimming Pool in Photography' to 'Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance,' with new monographs on Yayoi Kusama, Hilma af Klint, James Turrell and Jack Whitten, and announcing D.A.P. distribution for Glenstone Museum and SPBH Editions.

  

FIRST PRINT PRESS

Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

Afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava.

Featured spread is from 'Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life.'“The sensitivity of the photographs and the excellent blending of the pictures with the text... Bravo!” Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Sweet Flypaper of Lifeis a "poem" about ordinary people, about teenagers around a jukebox, about children at an open fire hydrant, about riding the subway alone at night, about picket lines and artist work spaces. This renowned, life-affirming collaboration between artist Roy DeCarava and writer Langston Hughes honors in words and pictures what the authors saw, knew and felt deeply about life in their city.Hughes’ heart-warming description of Harlem in the late 1940s and early 1950s is seen through the eyes of one grandmother, Sister Mary Bradley. We experience the sights and sounds of Harlem through her learned and worldly eyes, expressed here through Hughes’ poetic prose. As she states, "I done got my feet caught in the sweet flypaper of life and I’ll be dogged if I want to get loose." DeCarava’s photographs lay open a world of sense and feeling that begins with his perception and vision. His ruminations go beyond the limit of simple observation and contend with deeper meanings to reveal these individuals as subjects worthy of art. As Hughes keenly observes, "We’ve had so many books about how bad life is, maybe it’s time to have one showing how good it is."

First published in 1955, the book, widely considered a classic of photographic visual literature, was reprinted by public demand several times. This fourth printing, the Heritage Edition, is the first authorized English-language edition since 1983 and includes an afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava tracing the history and ongoing importance of this book.


Roy DeCarava

Over the course of six decades, American artist Roy DeCarava (1919–2009) produced a singular collection of black-and-white photographs of modern life that combine formal acuity with an intimate and deeply human treatment of his subject matter. Grounded by a unified theory of the visual plane, his work displays a subtle mastery of tonal and spatial elements and devotion to the medium of photography as a means of artistic expression. DeCarava created images that carry an emotional impact in their immediate relationship to the viewer, while also revealing less-than-visible terrains. DeCarava’s pioneering work privileged the aesthetic qualities of the medium, carrying the ability to reach the viewer as a counterpoint to the view of photography as mere chronicle or document and helping it to gain acceptance as an art form in its own right.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902–1967) was a poet, novelist, playwright, and social activist. Known worldwide as a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes’s work has been significant in introducing black history and culture into the corpus of American cultural history as well as inspiring with his humanistic concerns, writers in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America. While living in Harlem, Hughes maintained close relationships with other writers working in and around the city—Aaron Douglas, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman were all considered friends and they would frequently gather to discuss politics, writing, and literature. Together, this close group of writers was instrumental in giving voice to the communities that would not accept persecution and marginalization. Hughes’s dispatches for the New York newspapers raised quotidian reportage to an art, filing moving descriptions of the famed Harlem Brigade who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War. Later in his life Hughes turned toward collaboration, working with the German composer Kurt Weill on the 1947 opera Street Scene, with jazz musicians including Charles Mingus and with the photographer Roy DeCarava on The Sweet Flypaper of Life.

Sherry Turner DeCarava

Sherry Turner DeCarava is an art historian, curator, and independent scholar in the fields of traditional arts and contemporary American photography. She has taught or lectured extensively at universities and museums, including Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn Museum, and Rockefeller University. Serving as the executive director, the principal focus of her professional career has been the development of The DeCarava Archives, which supports exhibition and scholarly research projects related to the work of her late husband Roy DeCarava. She is the author of two definitive texts on his photography, including that in Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996) and in Roy DeCarava: Photographs, a monograph published by the Friends of Photography/Ansel Adams Trust (1981). Awarded the Prix de la Photographie by Les Rencontres de la Photographie, the Arles Center for Culture, in its annual survey of international photography, her 1981 text was lauded as the best photo/text collaboration of the year. In 2014 she initiated First Print Press, beginning a process to republish classic Roy DeCarava books, while bringing new photographic projects into print.

Featured spread is from 'Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Lewis Gannett

A harmony more than poetry or photography alone, but its own kind of art... a delicate and lovely fiction-document of life in Harlem.

Image Journal

The subtle, the almost exquisite interplay of text and photographs.

The Village Voice

A mixture of the warm and stark, the tender and the slightly terrifying- in short, very like life itself.

Henri Cartier Bresson

The sensitivity of the photographs and the excellent blending of the pictures with the text... Bravo!

New York Times

Astonishing verisimilitude.

The Guardian

Sean O"Hagan

It is a book, then, that continues to fascinate, even more so, perhaps, in the current political climate. Its timely reissue will hopefully alert a new generation to a still undervalued master of intimate observation and his singular collaboration with a writer who instinctively understood his radical vision.

Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/3/2018

The living testimony of a community in Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

The living testimony of a community in Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

We are delighted to announce the Heritage Edition of Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life, published in both hardcover and paperback editions with a new afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava. "While carrying the burdens of history," she writes, "robust and yet finely-attuned personalities rise in these pages; Hughes was able to imbue each imagined individual with a vivid agency. The persistence and dedication of DeCarava and Hughes, the cadence of their improvisations in image and word bring an entire audience of people—readers, subjects and the artists themselves—into an intimate, emotional arc of transformation. You hold in your hands not only the living testimony of a community, but the moment of insight for Langston Hughes when he realized what he held in his hands in that Harlem corner." continue to blog


ROY DECARAVA MONOGRAPHS + ARTIST'S BOOKS

Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

ROY DECARAVA AND LANGSTON HUGHES: THE SWEET FLYPAPER OF LIFE

Foreword by Sherry Turner DeCarava.

FIRST PRINT PRESS

ISBN: 9780999843826 | US $45.00

Pub Date: 9/4/2018
Active | In stock


Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

ROY DECARAVA AND LANGSTON HUGHES: THE SWEET FLYPAPER OF LIFE

Afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava.

FIRST PRINT PRESS

ISBN: 9780999843819 | US $24.95

Pub Date: 9/4/2018
Active | In stock




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