Published by Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. Text by Susan Kismaric.
Like so many of the best photographers, Thomas Roma has a flair for thinking in book form. His first book, the limited-edition and handbound volume Brooklyn Gardens (1980), affirmed this flair from the outset of his career, and over the past 30 years Roma has published 13 volumes, always composing and sequencing his classical and modernist vision of contemporary life with care and thought. Roma’s concern for bookmaking accords with his general autodidacticism: he is self-taught to the degree that he even designs and builds his own cameras and lighting equipment. Pictures for Books is the first retrospective volume on Roma. It gathers selections from four previous publications: Found in Brooklyn (1996), Come Sunday (1996), Sicilian Passage (2003) and On Three Pillars: Torah, Worship and the Practice of Loving Kindness, The Synagogues of Brooklyn (2007). Shot in black and white, the sequences included here display two signature Roma traits: a quietly steady and penetrative observation of the close-at-hand, and a fondness for the diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the borough in which Roma was born and continues to reside. Pictures for Books is full of images that capture daily life (both in Brooklyn and abroad) as it opens out into moments of capacious quietude.
PUBLISHER Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 8.5 x 10 in. / 136 pgs / 112 duotone.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 4/30/2010 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 129
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781884919251TRADE List Price: $35.00 CDN $40.00
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Essay by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In 1990, Thomas Roma began photographing the exterior of houses of worship in his native Brooklyn, which features more churches per square mile than any other place in the United States. One morning, the pastor of an African-American Christian church housed in a former Jewish temple invited Roma to join the congregation with his camera, explaining that God's work was not in the buildings, but in what went on inside. Roma eventually photographed more than 150 services in 52 African-American churches, richly fulfilling his desire "to make religious pictures for modern times." Only 100 copies of Come Sunday remain available, and each of these has been signed by the photographer himself.