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APERTURE

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Hardcover, 10 x 11.5 in. / 336 pgs / 250 color.

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No longer our product

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ISBN 9781597112406 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $65.00 CDN $75.00

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APERTURE

The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip

Published by Aperture
Edited with text by David Campany.

"Claire, 8th Ward" (2012) is reproduced from <I>The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip</I>.After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies and photography. As Stephen Shore has written, “Our country is made for long trips. Since the 1940s, the dream of the road trip, and the sense of possibility and freedom that it represents, has taken its own important place within our culture.” Many photographers purposefully embarked on journeys across the U.S. in order to create work, including Robert Frank, whose seminal road trip resulted in The Americans. However, he was preceded by Edward Weston, who traveled across the country taking pictures to illustrate Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass; Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose 1947 trip through the American South and into the West was published in the early 1950s in Harper’s Bazaar; and Ed Ruscha, whose road trips between Los Angeles and Oklahoma formed the basis of Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Hundreds of photographers have continued the tradition of the photographic road trip on down to the present, from Stephen Shore to Taiyo Onorato, Nico Krebs, Alec Soth and Ryan McGinley. The Open Road considers the photographic road trip as a genre in and of itself, and presents the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse. The book features David Campany’s introduction to the genre and 18 chapters presented chronologically, each exploring one American road trip in depth through a portfolio of images and informative texts. This volume highlights some of the most important bodies of work made on the road, from The Americans to the present day.

"Claire, 8th Ward" (2012) is reproduced from The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

TIME Lightbox

Phil Bicker

Dedicated to the Great American Road Trip, Open Road considers road trip photography as a genre of it's own, and studies bodies of work that approach the expansive American landscape through car windows and camera lenses.

The Wall Street Journal

Alexandra Wolfe

From shots of Mount Rushmore and the Pacific Coast Highway to glimpses of everyday life at roadside motels and pit stops, the photos highlight Americans’ long-standing fascination with the road, as a window into both the country’s cultural life—with the car window as a literal frame—and its pioneering attitude.

The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip



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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/21/2016

'The Open Road' in the Wall Street Journal

'The Open Road' in the Wall Street JournalThis weekend, The Wall Street Journal reviews The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark, drawing on the 2014 Aperture book by David Campany.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/14/2016

BACK IN STOCK! The Open Road

The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, Alec SothAlec Soth's "Peter's Houseboat, Winona, Minnesota" (2002) is reproduced from The Open Road, Aperture's classic survey of photography and the American roadtrip—back in stock at last. First published in Sleeping by the Mississippi, Soth's first major photographic project and his first publication, this image was immediately iconic. "I think I am better when I am away from home," Soth is quoted, "but not too far. Away from the distractions, but close enough to read the minutia and details of an environment I understand." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/4/2015

The Open Road

The Open Road"I have absolutely no interest in creating depressing images," Ryan McGinley is quoted in The Open Road, Aperture's quintessential book of American road trip photography. Perhaps this is why he is widely considered the photographic voice of his generation. Of the series, The Journey Is the Destination, which includes "Genie" (2014), featured here, author David Campany writes, "Many commentators have likened McGinley's work to the diaristic photography of Nan Goldin and Larry Clark. While his images lack their pain and hardship, Hollywood has taught us that any scene of youthful, bucolic bliss tends to presage something ominous. Likewise, any art that is so relentlessly upbeat inevitably has the inverse effect. Beauty slips into 'beauty,' fun into 'fun,' nudity into 'nudity.' Whatever the unspoken cause, it seems to haunt McGinley's photographs. Sometimes it's the vague melancholy of perfect summers past, but there is looming unrest as well. Its absence from the frame only serves to amplify it." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/4/2014

The Open Road: Stephen Shore

The Open Road: Stephen ShoreStephen Shore's iconic "U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho, August 25, 1974," from Uncommon Places, is reproduced from The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, one of the greatest photography collections this year. Author David Campany writes, "Shore's photographs are analytical but not overtly critical, curious yet distanced, at once literal and consciously symbolic. In this sense, they carry forward a way of understanding and picturing America first distilled by Walker Evans. 'I was fascinated with architecture as a physical expression of cultural forces. That’s what I’m always looking for. A picture can contain conflict, but that’s not all the picture is about.' As soon as he felt he was repeating himself, Shore brought this way of working to a close. Overall, there are some 700 photographs that Shore feels belong to the project. Uncommon Places was first published in 1982 with 49 images. The emphasis was on intersections and roadsides, but in reality the approach had a far greater sweep. There are landscapes, townscapes, studies of buildings, portraits and still lifes—all motivated by the sheer challenge of picture making and the complex pleasure taken in things and appearances." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/5/2014

The Open Road: Bernard Plossu

The Open Road: Bernard Plossu"New Mexico" (1980), by Bernard Plossu, is reproduced from The Open Road, Aperture's critically acclaimed collection of photographs of the American roadtrip. David Campany writes, "In 1965, aged twenty, he visited Mexico and met numerous people, one of whom took him to California (Carmel and Big Sur). From then on, for two decades, he never stopped driving the country's roads. His great loves were beatnik America, nature, the California Sierras, and the poetry of Garry Snyder. He met all kinds of people from all walks of life, and the whole experience was accompanied by music on the radio. Sometimes he was in a Volkswagen van, or in an old convertible gold Oldsmobile Cutlass, bought from a Texan lady for seven hundred dollars… It was a freewheeling life, all of it new and constantly exciting. He stayed with friends (including photographers Lewis Baltz and Steve Kahn) and in hotels: 'I'm in love with hotels—in art, photography, in literature, and in films. They're places where you can leave everything behind. Changing from one room to another is like changing film in a camera. They're like islands, you take a little with you, and you change your sense of rhythm. For me, they are the symbol for travel.' continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/2/2014

The Open Road: Justine Kurland

The Open Road: Justine KurlandJustine Kurland's 2010 photograph, "Spare Some Gas," is reproduced from The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, a book that belongs in every serious collection. David Campany describes Kurland's experience traveling America with her infant son Caspar. "Mother and son would travel in their customized van, going south in the winter and north in the summer. As well as photographing people encountered in passing, Kurland would revisit friends and acquaintances living on the edges of society or close to subsistence levels. 'How to photograph such lives is a tricky question,' she admits. 'There's such a mythology around life on the margins. It goes back to John Steinbeck's writing and beyond.' That mythology, coupled with ethical difficulties of depicting the lives of others has put off many contemporary writers and photographers, resulting in further invisibility. 'I believe it's where the social fabric begins to unravel that we can learn about society. I love that part of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men where James Agee asks 'Who am I to be writing about the lives of these struggling tenant farmers?' but then asks 'and who are you to be reading these words?' For all the criticisms made of documentary practice I still come back to it.'" continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/1/2014

The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip

The Open Road: Photography and the American RoadtripJoel Meyerowitz's 1970 photograph, "Florida," is reproduced from The Open Road, Aperture's essential paean to photography and the American roadtrip. David Campany quotes Meyerowitz, "'I began to understand that the car window was the frame, and that in some way the car itself was the camera with me inside it, and that the world was scrolling by with a constantly changing image on the screen. All I had to do was raise the camera and blink to make a photograph.' Meyerowitz had returned from [a] European trip with fresh eyes, alert to the profound changes in America. Where the best road trip photography of the 1950s and '60s had been either angry or melancholic (and frequently both), much of the defining work of the 1970s was perplexed, fascinated, and even surreal in tone. Meyerowitz was attuning himself to the nation's wild incongruities, ideological contradictions, and dark rituals. Most often his subject was leisure and even this was a source of unsettling humor." continue to blog


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