Philip Gefter answers a few questions for ARTBOOK and contributes our very first Ex Libris, an ongoing feature that asks authors and artists to tell us about their favorite books from their own libraries.
ARTBOOK: Histories of contemporary photojournalism often start with Henri Cartier Bresson and the “decisive moment.” You have chosen Robert Frank as the critical starting point to your book on contemporary photography. Have you heard from Frank since your book was published?
Gefter: I haven't heard from Robert Frank since the book came out, but I showed him a print-out of the pages before it was published and, while he didn't care to discuss his legacy, he did like looking at the photographs in the book.
ARTBOOK: What’s on your personal list of indispensable photography books?
1. Evidence, by Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan (original edition, 1977; reissue: D.A.P., 2004)
2. Larry Clark: Teenage Lust (self published, 1983)
3. Nan Goldin: Ballad of Sexual Dependency (Aperture, 2005)
4. Robert Mapplethorpe: Polaroids (Prestel, 2007)
5. Julia Margaret Cameron: Her Life and Photographic Work (Aperture, 1975)
6. Richard Avedon: Portraits (Farrar, Straus And Giroux, 1976)
7. Walker Evans: American Photographs (MoMA, 1938, facsimile edition, Errata, 2009)
8. John Szarkowski: Looking at Photographs (MoMA, 1973)
9. Eugene Atget: The Work of Atget, Four Volumes, by John Szarkowski and Maria Morris Hambourg (MoMA, 1981–1985)
I have all of them.
Philip Gefter, a photography critic for The New York Times, was on staff at the paper for more than 15 years as a picture editor and senior picture editor for culture. Before working at the Times, Gefter was a picture editor at Fortune and an assistant editor at Aperture. His recently published book Photography After Frank (Aperture) looks at contemporary photography using Frank’s seminal work of the 1950s, The Americans, as a starting point.
Photography After Frank by Philip Gefter. In Photography After Frank, former New York Times writer and picture editor Philip Gefter narrates the tale of contemporary photography, beginning at the pivotal moment when Robert Frank commenced his seminal works of the 1950s. >>more
US $29.95 CAN $35.00 TRADE
Hbk, 6 x 8.5 in. / 224 pgs / 30 color / 45 b&w.
Pub Date: 06/01/2009