PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

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Atelier Éditions

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Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.75 in. / 280 pgs / 25 color / 198 bw.

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Catalog: FALL 2019 p. 84   

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ISBN 9780997593594 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $90.00 GBP £57.00

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ATELIER ÉDITIONS

Michael Jang: Who Is Michael Jang?

Edited by Pascale Georgiev. Introduction by Sandra Phillips. Foreword by Erik Kessels. Text by Kingston Trinder.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Michael Jang: Who Is Michael Jang?.'

“Who is Michael Jang? I don’t know if he’s a hipster or a nerd, a conceptual genius or instinctual savant. All I know is that he takes some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen.” –Alec Soth

San Francisco–based photographer Michael Jang spent nearly four decades working as a successful commercial portrait photographer. Unbeknownst to the world, however, he was simultaneously assembling a vast archive of thousands of remarkable images documenting, variously: college days, Hollywood celebrities, would-be weather presenters, San Francisco street scenes, his family, Bay Area punks and adolescent garage bands. Jang revealed nothing of his ever-expanding, eclectic archive for almost 40 years until 2001, when he submitted a number of images for consideration to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art. Jang’s work attracted immediate acclaim, and for the past decade he has continued to unveil his considerable oeuvre in national and international exhibitions and monographs.

The photographer’s first major monograph, Who Is Michael Jang? highlights Jang's most important bodies of work. Introduced by his longtime collaborator and SFMOMA curator emerita of photography, Sandra Phillips, this volume offers readers a long-overdue introduction to Jang’s incredible images.

Michael Jang (born 1951) has practiced photography in San Francisco for more than 50 years. After decades of successful commercial portraiture, Jang began to revisit the vast archive of unseen, spontaneous images he has amassed, many of which betray the influence of celebrated street photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and Lisette Model.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Michael Jang: Who Is Michael Jang?.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Artist

Barry McGee

Michael Jang is a hero of mine. He was there photographing all the early movements that altered the foundation of my life.

Photographer

Alec Soth

Who is Michael Jang? I don’t know if he’s a hipster or a nerd, a conceptual genius or instinctual savant. All I know is that he takes some of best pictures I’ve ever seen.

Photographer

Ryan McGuinley

Jang is an enigma, always at the right place at the right time in history. He is a true fly on the wall, disappearing & observing, waiting for the candid moments.

Photographer

Ed Templeton

These photos are an incredible time capsule of American life in 70s and 80s California as seen through Michael Jang’s witty, inquisitive, and offbeat eyes.

FGUK

Marvin Maddix

The photographer’s first major monograph, Who Is Michael Jang? highlights Jang’s most important bodies of work.

BOMB

Stephen Hilger

The hefty Who Is Michael Jang?, the artist’s first monograph, makes a case for Jang’s place in twentieth-century photography nearly fifty years after he began making pictures.

Financial Times

Johnathan Griffin

The pictures are hilarious, absurd, fond, empathetic, and unaffected.

Richmond District

Sara Bacon

The new McEvoy exhibition ... explores Jang’s career as a portrait and street photographer in California, concentrating on his early work as he was discovering the medium.

New Yorker

Hua Hsu

Jang’s images were mischievous and quirky, full of visual jokes about how the rich and famous and the freaks and burnouts weren’t all that different from one another. In the years since, Jang has spent more time digging through his archives. The result is a stunning monograph, “Who Is Michael Jang?"

Photo Eye

Laura Andre

Utterly banal yet extraordinarily absurd, ... Michael Jang’s images ... balance a combination of what seem to be strategically placed clues amid barely controlled chaos.

PDN

The new monograph Who Is Michael Jang? looks at the curious and covert career of photographer Michael Jang.

Plain Magazine

Toby Orton

Who is Michael Jang? offers a compacted collection of his most important work, delving into the world of a true original.

Creative Review

Rachael Steven

Jang’s images are ... at once both incredibly candid and often so perfectly odd that on first glance you think they must have been staged.

Le Monde

Clémentine Goldszal

A distillation, often comical, sometimes nostalgic, of the the ‘American way of life,’ as taste-tested by this Asian family that seems to have embraced the delights of western capitalism with gusto.

Aperture

Will Matsuda

[Michael Jang's] deeply funny and idiosyncratic images [are] of suburbs, celebrities, and California in the 1970s.

Spectrum Culture

Pat Padua

The more Jang images the scene, the more you have fun trying to reverse-engineer his process.

New York Times: Style

Thessaly La Force

There’s something to admire in how technically precise Jang is in working in black and white — he seems to understand intuitively the depth of a picture before he even takes it.

Mother Jones

Mark Murrmann

Jang’s images have a subtle allure that keeps you coming back. Sometimes you see something new, sometimes it’s a matter of trying to unpack what the hell makes you so drawn to the photo.

Black + White

Elizabeth Roberts

What comes across throughout the book and the work itself is the warmth of the photographer and his fascination with the people and things that surrounded him – but, above all, his remarkably contemporary style of photography.

AnOther

Belle Hutton

Where Jang’s photography sets itself apart is its idiosyncratic sense of humour. Playful and candid, Jang’s approached the medium with irreverence...

New York Review of Books

Madeline Coleman

Jang’s “rediscovery” has a lot to do with his talent, but it also has to do with a more hospitable cultural moment.

Washington Post

Kenneth Dickerman

Jang has an affinity for taking what would normally be banal subject matter and turning it into a visual treat--whether depicting familu, politicians, performers, or everyday people on the street.

Michael Jang: Who Is Michael Jang?

in stock  $65.00


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/5/2019

Michael Jang Book Signing at Arcana

Michael Jang Book Signing at Arcana

Saturday, October 5 from 4–6 PM, photographer Michael Jang will sign copies of Who Is Michael Jang?, published by Atelier Éditions, at Arcana: Books on the Arts in Culver City, Los Angeles.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/27/2019

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents 'Michael Jang’s California'

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents 'Michael Jang’s California'

Saturday, September 28 at 5 PM, the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents the opening reception for Michael Jang’s California—the photographer's first retrospective—curated by Sandra S. Phillips. On view in San Francisco September 27, 2019, through January 18, 2020, the exhibition explores the artist’s career as a portrait and street photographer in California, concentrating on Jang’s early work as he was discovering the medium.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/27/2019

Michael Jang Book Signing & Exhibition at Park Life, SF

Michael Jang Book Signing and Exhibition at Park Life, SF

Friday, September 27 from 6–9 PM, Park Life presents photographer Michael Jang signing copies of Who Is Michael Jang? during the Park Life exhibition, Enter the Jang.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/22/2020

Fabulously idiosyncratic and humorous, 'Who Is Michael Jang?' reviewed in the 'Washington Post'

Fabulously idiosyncratic and humorous, 'Who Is Michael Jang?' reviewed in the 'Washington Post'

"Chop Chop Using the Toilet" is reproduced from Who Is Michael Jang?, reviewed this week in The Washington Post. Kenneth Dickerman notes Jang's "fabulously idiosyncratic, humorous depictions of family life," and in fact, Chop Chop's awkward moment was captured in the Jang household in 1973. But the book is much more than family photographs. "In fact," Dickerman continues, "that sensibility applies to all the images throughout the book. Jang has an affinity for taking what would normally be banal subject matter and turning it into a visual treat—whether depicting family, politicians, performers or everyday people on the streets." Congratulations to Atelier Éditions, publisher of the rare book that continues to surprise and delight the press long after its first release. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/28/2019

Sandra S. Phillips on Michael Jang

Sandra S. Phillips on Michael Jang

"Untitled, San Francisco," from Michael Jang's 1983 Summer Weather series of photographs of aspiring TV weather forecasters, is reproduced from Who Is Michael Jang?, the photographer's first major monograph—and what a great one it is. A favorite of artists and photographers like Alec Soth, Barry McGee, Ryan McGinley and Ed Templeton, Jang brings spontaneity and humor to his remarkably unaffected pictures of the 1970s and 80s. "The joyful spirit, the craziness of those times, the absurdity and unrestrained sense of fun evident in the pictures he made of his family and the communities in which he traveled are perhaps more precious today, and more needed," Sandra S. Phillips writes. "We as a people seem less spontaneous and less carefree now, and we are reminded of these useful attributes when looking at Jang's early pictures." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/27/2019

Michael Jang sees it all

Michael Jang sees it all

"Chris with Bag" (1973) is reproduced from Who Is Michael Jang?, the first major monograph on this influential yet previously-little-known San Francisco photographer whose work is on view at McEvoy Foundation through January, 2020. "Jang has the rare ability not only to capture a moment in time but to insert himself in a moment that could only be documented from the inside," Erik Kessels writes. "Jang is that proverbial fly on the wall, watching. He sees it all—the ordinary, the bizarre, the mundane, the odd, the funny, the memorable and the forgettable—capturing these moments in images most photographers wouldn't have wasted their film on." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

REILLY DAVIDSON | DATE 12/15/2019

From Michael Jang and Atelier Éditions, sophisticated and surprising coffee table gold

From Michael Jang and Atelier Éditions, sophisticated and surprising coffee table gold

Previously under-the-radar San Francisco-based photographer Michael Jang has an unequivocal knack for capturing something virtually uncapturable in the people, places and things that populate his black-and-white snapshot and portrait photographs. No family member, celebrity, punk or poet is immune. A master of detection-evasion, over the past forty years he has quietly placed himself in both high- and low-profile events and locations and miraculously photographed strange or unique energy with his camera. This hefty, beautifully-produced, clothbound first major monograph from London-based Atelier Éditions highlights five decades of virtually unknown work over 250 pages—sophisticated and surprising coffee table gold. Featured image is "Mother and Daughter in Laundry Room" (1973). continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/11/2019

Storytelling and misdirection in staff favorite, 'Who Is Michael Jang?'

Storytelling and misdirection in staff favorite, 'Who Is Michael Jang?'

"At Home with the Jangs" (1973) is reproduced from Who Is Michael Jang?, the first major monograph on this stealth-great photographer who flew under the radar for the majority of the last half-century before being discovered by SFMOMA curator Sandra S. Phillips in 2001. Known in particular for his uniquely telling family photographs, he’s become the ultimate photographer’s photographer, counting artists like Alec Soth and Erik Kessels among his greatest fans. Kessels notes, “It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what makes Jang’s work so captivating, which is precisely what makes Jang’s work so captivating… He’s a storyteller, skilled in the art of deception, or perhaps it’s more misdirection. At first glance at one of his images you get one story, look again and you’ll get three others. He’s a master of photographic omission, his work is as much about what’s not there as what is.” continue to blog


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