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Editions Xavier Barral/Fondation Cartier Pour L'Art Contemporain

Hardcover, 8.25 x 10.25 in. / 464 pgs / 300 color / 300 duotone.

Pub Date

D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 7   

ISBN 9782869251311 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $87.00

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WRLD Export via T&H

"I just put the cars out in the world, instead of on a pedestal." - Lee Friedlander


The CAR in PHOTOGRAPHY: 600 images by 100+ photographers
  • ABOUT THE BOOK:The book is handsome and chunky, with a shiny metallic "new car" blue cover with a tipped-in photograph - by Willliam Eggleston.A Who's Who of Photography: Includes Robert Adams, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Anthony Hernandez, Joel Meyerowitz, Daido Moriyama, Catherine Opie, Martin Parr, Ed Ruscha, Malick Sidibe, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel.
  • Also includes vernacular, "found" car photos: the family posed in front of the new car, the prom date in front of the car portrait -- from the US, Asia, Europe and Africa; Nostalgic set photography from films like The Misfts
  • PRESS & PROMOTION: Exhibition in Paris opened Summer 2017 and is recieving international review coverage including The New York Times “…traces cars’ impact on the world through hundreds of photographs dating to the early 20th century… makes it easy to understand why photographers’ romance with the car may be as strong as ever."
  • For veteran booksellers: Speed Style and Beauty + Lee Friedlander America By Car + The Open Road =Auto Photo
  • Will appeal to CAR buffs as well as the PHOTO, DESIGN, and NOSTAGLIA markets
  • A great Holiday gift for Dad
  • WEST COAST INTEREST: Clement Cheroux is a Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art



Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now

Edited by Xavier Barral, Philippe Séclier. Text by Clément Chéroux, Marc Desportes, Simon Baker, Nancy W. Barr, Pascal Ory. Contributions by Alain Bublex, Jean Todt, Alain Prost.

Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now

The camera’s romance with the car: a photo history

Autophoto explores photography's longstanding and generative relationship to the automobile. Since its invention, the automobile has reshaped our landscape, extended our geographic horizons and radically altered our conception of space and time, influencing the practice of photographers worldwide.

The book shows how the car provided photographers with new subject matter and a new way of exploring the world. It brings together 500 works made by 100 historical and contemporary artists from around the world, including Robert Adams, Brassaï, Edward Burtynsky, Langdon Clay, John Divola, Robert Doisneau, William Eggleston, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Anthony Hernandez, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Joel Meyerowitz, Daido Moriyama, Catherine Opie, Martin Parr, Rosângela Rennó, Ed Ruscha, Hans-Christian Schink, Malick Sidibé, Stephen Shore and Henry Wessel.

Capturing formal qualities such as the geometric design of roadways or reflections in a rear view mirror, these photographers invite us to look at the world of the automobile in a new way. Autophoto also includes other projects, such as a series of car models that cast a fresh eye on the history of automobile design, created specifically for the Fondation Cartier show by French artist Alain Bublex, plus a comparative history of automobile design and photography, essays by scholars and quotes by participating artists.

Above: Lee Friedlander, "California" (2008), from the America by Car series.



The Cartier, 'Autophoto' is long overdue. Ever since the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain hosted the incredible Hommage à Ferrari 30 years ago, we’ve been waiting for another one of its automotive photo exhibitions. But it's finally here and it looks incredible.

British Journal of Photography

Susanna D'Aliesio

By the end of the 19th century, the camera and the car had helped pave the way for a new, more modern perspective – images by freezing time, from multiple perspectives, and automobiles by speeding things up

Ad Magazine

De Bellaigue

Fasten your seatbelts…


Sarah Hyde

Works range from an Eve Arnold’s iconic 1961 images of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits… to the work of photographers who have made the subject matter their own, like William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Frank. [T]he diversity of images included is a testament to the ingenuity of photography and the various permutations that it can achieve…. many subtle threads that can be picked up on, giving plenty to satisfy the curious and knowledgeable…. One of these threads is changing the collective cultural memory of the car.


Florence Walker

Cars and cameras grew up together as siblings…. A comfortable comparison can be made with having a photo in focus and having a car in the correct gear…. A lot of that has to do with taking the machine in your hands seriously—much like taking the car that you’re sitting in seriously.

Popular Mechanics

Bill Shapiro

What may be the most ambitious exhibit of car-focused photography ever ... flat-out beautiful images.

Aesthetica Magazine

This new presentation revisits photography’s relationship to the automobile; how the car provided photographers with a new subject, a new point of view and new way of exploring the world… how the automobile has reshaped our landscape, extended our geographic horizons and altered our, and notably artists’, concept of space and time.


David Hurren

Capturing the geometric design of roadways, the reflections in a rear-view mirror or our special relationship with this object of desire, these photographers invite us to look at the world of the automobile in a new way.

Financial Times

Alastair Sooke

The stunning car photographs that capture the 20th century…. not only tells the shifting story of society’s attitudes towards motorcars, but also provides an overview of important developments within the century’s photography itself.

The New York Times: Lens Blog

Eric Nagourney

[Autophoto] makes it easy to understand why photographers’ romance with the car may be as strong as ever.

Center for Land Use Interpretation

This is the catalogue from a nearly impossibly ambitious exhibition of international photography about people and cars. Big and heavy like a school textbook, the catalogue ends up hitting most of the marks, and is a massive, thoughtful, and even, somehow, modest encyclopedia of the genre.

Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now

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Foreword by Xavier Barral and Philippe Séclier

A panorama framed by the rectangle of the windscreen. A long ribbon of asphalt stretching into the distance until it vanishes over the horizon. For more than a century, we have been able to travel the world by car and capture such an image from this “camera box” on wheels.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the automobile and photography—two instruments for shaping the landscape, two mechanisms of traction and attraction—paved the way for modern society by introducing new rituals and new velocities. While photography allows us to have and record multiple points of view, to “memorize” movement and to leave traces, the automobile enables us move through space. Photography, which immobilizes, has benefited from the automobile, which provides mobility. And although cars and photography are both continually evolving, they have in fact taken parallel paths in order to increase their mastery over space and time. “Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated,” wrote Jean Baudrillard.

But let us go back to the beginning. A little more than two hundred years ago, the brothers Nicéphore and Claude Niépce became interested in both the internal combustion engine and the phenomena of light. The two inveterate inventors developed the Pyréolophore, the forerunner of the internal combustion engine, which was driven by heat-expanded air and fueled by a combination of coal, resin, and oil. Patented in 1807, the Pyréolophore was mainly designed to propel boats. Unfortunately, Claude’s incessant research drove them deeper into debt and Nicéphore discontinued the engine projects to turn his efforts to heliography, a method for reproducing images that involved engraving and a camera obscura. Sometime around 1826, the world’s first photographed image was born. Taken from the window of Niépce’s house in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes in the Saone-et-Loire region and titled View from the Window at Le Gras, it was obtained by coating a pewter plate with bitumen of Judea. Louis Daguerre, William Henry Fox Talbot, and Hippolyte Bayard would go on to perfect this new invention—officially dated 1839—through the use of different techniques (daguerreotype, calotype) and materials (silver plate, mat paper). Around 1880, Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey took on another challenge, the study of motion, and invented chronophotography, which enabled them to break down and capture the movements of a body or an animal in action. On the automotive side, experimental research on engines had continued throughout the century, but it was not until 1889 that a four-stroke engine was developed by Deutz AG. A double revolution was thus underway. The automobile and photography progressed side by side during the twentieth century. Industrialization and mass production came along to make both widely accessible to the general public. The hippomobile gradually disappeared as the automobile took over. The latter was indeed all the more popular because, as urban planner Marc Desportes points out, it “obeys your every command, drives you anywhere you want, at any time of day or night. In that way, cars are similar to horses, but to horses that never tire and have the power of four, of eight of their kind … That is why they engender a feeling of action and freedom. That is why they differ from trains, which impose their routes and schedules and create a form of passivity in passengers, who, in spite of themselves, are forced to participate in a huge, inflexible, regimented machine.” This new kind of horsepower led to the first speed records being set: in Achères, France, where the 100 km/h mark was first crossed in 1899, then in Ostend, Belgium, where the 130 km/h barrier was broken in 1903, and in Daytona Beach, Florida, where 170 km/h was almost reached in 1905.

At first, due to their cost, cars were owned mainly by the well-to-do. The latter complained about the state of the roads, most of which were nothing more than dirt tracks that left much to be desired. Routes had to be organized for driving, networks had to established with roads that had to be named and mapped. In 1900, the brothers André and Édouard Michelin began topographical surveys in order to identify France’s roads and evaluate their condition. Then, in the 1930s, they set out on a mission to photograph the world’s major routes. All over the planet, from Damascus to Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile to Timbuktu via Berlin and Prague, they found the same thing: roads were dangerous, unsuitable for driving, and lacking in any kind of convenience. They needed to be rebuilt, enlarged and made safe. Little by little, a web would be woven, and expanded to cover all of the continents, even if it meant creating more and more traffic. Today we are a long way from the clouds of dust thrown up by a vehicle that announced the arrival of a more or less benevolent presence in the village. A long way, as well, from the tracks left by the Black Cruise (28,000 kilometers across the Africa) and the Yellow Cruise (30,000 kilometers across Asia) organized by Citroën in 1924 and 1931, respectively. Before routes were inundated with asphalt, obliterating the tire tracks left in the dirt, cars once drew a sort of Ariadne’s thread reconnecting us to space and time.

The rising popularity of the automobile, initiated in France by small firms such as Panhard & Levassor and De Dion-Bouton, took a decisive turn in 1910. Industrialization and the development of new manufacturing methods—in particular, the introduction of the assembly line—made it possible to meet both the growing demand and the requirements of profitability. The principles of scientific management formulated by the American engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor were first put into practice in the United States by Henry Ford for his famous Model T. “Fordism” followed on the heels of “Taylorism” and would turn the city of Detroit, Michigan into the automotive capital of the world. A new economy was emerging and photographers on both sides of the Atlantic were documenting the social history that accompanied it.

With the arrival of Kodak’s light and easy-to-maneuver box camera in 1888, then the Pocket Kodak in 1895 and, above all, the Brownie in 1900—which sold for less than a dollar—the camera industry and the sensitive surface (negatives) market began to take off. Improvements in shutter speeds and instantaneity led to reduced exposure times, which finally made it possible to capture a subject in motion. In 1925, the first camera to use the 24 × 36 mm format, the famous Leica, was brought out by the German engineer Oskar Barnack. Major advances were also being made in the realm of color. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the first autochromes were able to reproduce reality as it appeared to the naked eye, and they were soon followed by other techniques in the 1920s and 1930s (Agfacolor, Kodachrome, Ektachrome, etc.). Although, at the time, black and white still predominated, color gave photographers a new medium for artistic expression.

By now roads had branched out into highways, into bypasses, with gas stations, parking lots, motels, drive-ins, and more. This first conquest of space accelerated in the 1950s: the aim was to go ever faster, ever farther. Then the mythical road trip was born, and after the publication of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957 and Robert Frank’s The Americans in 1958, two of the Beat Generation’s iconic books, it became the thing to do. With the rise of consumer society in the 1960s, the automobile became the symbol of independence and freedom, as well as a status symbol, which caught the eye of many a photographer. “I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object,” was Roland Barthes’s analysis. Each year millions of worshipers flocked to Paris, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Detroit, Geneva, Los Angeles, and Tokyo, for the high mass of the auto shows. There they discovered the latest innovations in traveling, positioning, and visions for the future, to continually push the frontiers of the open road.

The intimate world of the home transposed into a mobile habitat is exposed to all kinds of gazes. It may sometimes even trap its occupants: when unleashed on the road, the steel exoskeleton, which is made corporeal with its users, may also become, without any warning, a devastating and at times deadly metallic shell. Left to rot in the landscape or rust in the scrap yard, this exoskeleton itself becomes perishable.

What cars have spawned above all in the last two decades, is an ever-expanding monster. Its arteries are becoming more and more clogged, creating such pollution that it is considered as much of a threat as reckless driving. Similarly, in the field of photography—a field that was to become more and more fertile with the advent of digital technology and the Internet—congestion has also reached a critical point. This type of expansion, across space and time, has been undergoing an acceleration of another kind, linked to hybrid technologies (gasoline-electricity, phone-cameras), connectivity, and social networks (carpooling, photo sharing). In addition, a new era is already on the horizon: that of the semi- or fully autonomous car loaded with algorithms, cameras, and sensors.

But before this next transformation allows us to finally let go of the steering wheel, let’s pause. The photographic series in the exhibition AUTOPHOTO tell a story, of how the automobile has, over the last century, through the eye of the camera, altered the landscape, and with its recurrent themes, has forever changed our society and our way of seeing things. - Translated from the French by Jennifer Kaku



More than road photography: Autophoto

More than road photography: Autophoto

This is a book of photographs. Of cars. By the best. Published to the exacting standards of Xavier Barral and Fondation Cartier, this 464-page treasure trove features exquisite papers, special inks, a tipped-on cover image and that rare binding treatment that allows a book to lay perfectly flat when opened to any page. A staff favorite from our Fall 2017 list, this superb collection includes work by Robert Adams, Brassaï, Larry Clark, Langdon Clay, John Divola, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Seydou Keïta, Justine Kurland, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Meyerowitz, Daido Moriyama, Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, Stephen Shore, Malick Sidibé, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Juergen Teller, Weegee and William Eggleston (featured here) among others. continue to blog



AUTOPHOTO and the old-fashioned idea of freedom

AUTOPHOTO and the old-fashioned idea of freedom

This late-1960s photograph from William Eggleston’s Los Alamos series is just one of 600 impeccably curated images of cars from the last century to the present collected in the summer blockbuster, Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now. A summer pick everywhere from the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times to CNN and Popular Mechanics, this luxe collection features work by anonymous contributors alongside greats like Robert Doisneau, Elliott Erwitt, Anthony Hernandez, Catherine Opie, Martin Parr, Hans-Christian Schink and Henry Wessel, to name but a few. “As a basically old-fashioned-machine,” J.G. Ballard is quoted, the car “enshrines a basically old-fashioned idea: freedom.” continue to blog



Autophoto: an exquisite holiday gift featuring cars and photography, 1900-now

Autophoto: an exquisite holiday gift featuring cars and photography, 1900-now

“I noticed at certain times an erotic charge between the mechanics and the cars, muscle on muscle, especially in cases where the men were under the cars. In combining mechanic and car I am objectifying the men as much as the cars. This is as much a function of photography as my own sexuality.” – Justine Kurland, from multi-category 2017 Staff Pick Holiday Gift Book, Autophoto. continue to blog



Make Fathers Day Sophisticated and Sporty

Make Fathers Day Sophisticated and Sporty

You’re looking for the perfect Fathers Day gift. You want something smart, but not too smart; gorgeous, but not too gorgeous; and masculine, but not too masculine. Well, look no further. Weighing in at just over 450 pages, designed and printed to the sky-high standards of Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Editions Xavier Barral in Paris, Autophoto: Cars & Photography, 1900 to Now brings you a perfectly calibrated history of the automobile in photography. Where else can you find work by dad favorites Walker Evans, Man Ray, Daido Moriyama, Ed Ruscha, Juergen Teller and Jacques Henri Lartigue in one pearlescent volume? Featured image is “Une Delage au Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, circuit e Dieppe,” by Jacques Lartigue, June 26, 1912. continue to blog


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