Books on Books No. 14
Text by Mette Sandbye, Keld Helmer-Petersen, Jeffrey Ladd.
Published by Errata Editions
While the rise of color photography as a viable artistic medium has often been credited to the celebrated work of Willam Eggleston and Stephen Shore in the 1970s, their efforts had in fact been preceded by almost two decades by the Danish photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen (born 1920). Helmer-Petersenís 1948 publication of 122 Colour Photographs stands as an extraordinary accomplishment: inspired by the realism of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement, Helmer-Petersen concentrated on the mundane and the everyday, generating a panoply of geometric abstractions out of curved doorknobs, crates of tomatoes, industrial metal drums and straw-colored buildings against milky blue skies. With this reproduction, accompanied by an essay by historian Mette Sandbye, 122 Colour Photographs can at last assume its proper role as the foundational book that successfully put color photography on the map and brought modernism into Danish photography.
Errata Editions' Books on Books series is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.
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