CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/11/2015
On April 30, 1945, photojournalists David E. Scherman and Lee Miller produced one of the most controversial photographic series of the twentieth century; while documenting Hitler's apartment on the day of his suicide, they photographed each other bathing in the Führer's tub. In Hatje Cantz's new release, Elissa Mailänder writes, "Miller’s and Scherman’s action, as a woman and especially as a Jew, can be interpreted as an act of provocation. It was a (successful) attempt to deconstruct the Führer as a (German) identification figure and hereby to undermine his aura at a time when the war had not officially ended. Although Hitler and his wife had just taken their lives, Germany, which lay in ruins, had not yet capitulated. Embedded in that contemporaneous context, the bathtub photographs sent a clear and defiant message to Germany and international society: The Führer is dead. And now we are here." (more...)
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/10/2015
"Dead SS Guard, Floating in Canal," Dachau, 1945, is reproduced from Lee Miller, the new release from Hatje Cantz. This haunting image is one of many made by Miller during her years documenting World War II and the Allied liberation—following which she fell into depression and alcoholism. Essayist Ute Wrocklage quotes Miller's fellow photojournalist and wartime companion David E. Scherman, "This was a journalist's finest hour, a story worth crossing Europe for… If she had any emotional reaction at all it was almost orgasmic excitement over the magnitude of the story. She was, in her quiet, methodical, practical way, in seventh heaven… When, as a journalist, do you get the chance to shoot as fast as you can, left and right, and make a horrible, exciting, historic picture? The emotional breakdown, if any was in the subsequent let down after the high of Dachau, and a week later, the burning of the Berghof. The let-down of 'no more hot, fast-breaking story.'"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/9/2015
Model, muse, Surrealist and war photographer—Lee Miller was a complex artist and a daring human being. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1907, she moved to Paris in 1929 to study and eventually collaborate closely with Man Ray, who became her lover. She went on to fearlessly document the front rank of the Allied liberation of Europe during World War II; some of her most famous images capture the suicides of high-ranking Nazi officials, beaten SS prison guards, piles of dead bodies at Buchenwald, and of course, her own self-portrait in Hitler's bathtub. Featured image, "Solarized portrait of an Unknown Woman," made in Paris, while under the tutelage of Ray in 1932, is thought by some to capture Surrealist sculptor Meret Oppenheim.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/8/2015
"It’s the maddest dream a man could make and realize," Karl Lagerfeld writes in his collection of photographs of Capri's infamous Casa Malaparte. "Paradise is found here, on this little piece of interdicted, inaccessible private rock. There is a feeling of immortality difficult to explain.
The house has no garden. The high mountains behind show only their granite faces and the sea surrounds the three other sides of the lower rock the place is built on, looking like a part of a forgotten aircraft carrier abandoned there. You can not feel at home here. Malaparte is still too present—in every room—in every corner. The house lies there as if life had leaked away, intending to return, but nobody knows when. When we had to leave, it rained again. The sky gave the impression that the night wept. We had to walk back for more than 50 minutes to the nearest lived-in house. On our way we counted 396 steps. We left behind this magical place sleeping in unseen arms of power and memory."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/7/2015
In 1997, Karl Lagerfeld spent five days photographing the 1937 Italian architectural masterpiece, Casa Malaparte with a Polaroid camera. "The weather was bad—the sky like lead—but the enchantment was there... Storm and rain gave a feeling of Deluge, ready to sweep the house away. During our stay the sun shone only for one short day… The moon, when it came out, slid down the famous stairs leading to the flat roof of the house—the magic terrace floating high above the sea. It’s an absent, mystic house that has gone to rest. It was nearly lost but found again. It has a sovereign unconcern for everything down to earth. It was not build for mortal men ... There are still many scars of despair and time. But you don’t see them, you only listen to the sea. The beauty of the landscape suffocates the eye at any season."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/6/2015
In his gorgeous new book of photographs of the ideosyncratic Italian Modernist architectural masterpiece, Casa Malaparte, Karl Lagerfeld writes, "The 'Casa Malaparte' is a vision of a man with no visible influences. Built in the thirties, it has nothing in common with the Italian architecture of those days. It’s also untouched by the then so influential ideas of the Bauhaus—but it is still absolutely modern. There is no other house like this in the world. When he 'created' this house (and nobody knows what the architect Adalberto Libera exactly contributed to this project) he thought perhaps that this place should be the continued evidence of his love of the beauty of Capri and the mediterranean world. It was built for future times— whether they would like it or not. It’s a kind of inevitable inheritance. Nothing can befall this masterpiece whose deep sources are interior. Goodbye to any classic standard of houses and the way we are used to look at them."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/5/2015
"Brancusi said that when an artist stopped being a child, he would stop being an artist," Isamu Noguchi writes in A Sculptor's World, his 1968 autobiography, now available in a new edition from Steidl. "Children, I think, must view the world differently from adults, their awareness of its possibilities are more primary and attuned to their capacities. When the adult would imagine like a child he must project himself into seeing the world as a totally new experience. I like to think of playgrounds as a primer of shapes and functions; simple, mysterious, and evocative: thus educational. The child's world would be a beginning world, fresh and clear. The sculptural elements here have the added significance of usage—in actual physical contact—much as is the experience of the sculptor in the making." Featured image is of Noguchi's metal models for playground equipment, Hawaii, 1939.
Agnes Martin's 1989 essay is reproduced from our essential new monograph, published to accompany the critically-acclaimed touring retrospective currently on view at Tate Modern. Patricia Albers makes special note of this text in the "New York Times Book Review" this weekend, asserting that it is "not to be missed."
Last week, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Metropolis Books launched the SOM THINKERS series with 'The Future of the Skyscraper,' featuring texts by Bruce Sterling, Tom Vanderbilt, Matthew Yglesias, Diana Lind, Will Self, Emily Badger, Dickson Despommier and Philip Nobel, whose Introduction is excerpted here.
Lisa Pearson of Siglio writes on publishing as "An act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile... and as a testament to the 'book' as refuge, dissent, beacon, and nexus."
This week, Beyond Shelter author Marie Aquilino initiates a regular column for Metropolis Books, reporting on her work with the Montesinos Foundation in Titanyen, Haiti.
"Paging through a book is like closing a door behind you that simultaneously opens another onto a new room -- all the while keeping the previous room available, just behind the now-closed door of the turned page. Here I am in the hallway of the introduction..." -- excerpt from Sharon Helgason Gallagher's remarks at the New York Public Library panel discussion The Future of the Art Book