PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Hatje Cantz

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 13 in. / 216 pgs / 150 duotone.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2011 p. 8   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783775728362 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $70.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Los Angelas, CA
Michael Kohn Gallery, 04/11

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HATJE CANTZ

Charles Brittin: West and South

Edited by Kristine McKenna, Lorraine Wild, Roman Alonso, Lisa Eisner.

Featured image is one of Charles Brittin's civil rights movement photos from the '60s, reproduced from <a href="9783775728362.html">Charles Brittin: West and South</a>. Throughout the 1950s, Charles Brittin was the unofficial house photographer for the Beat community that coalesced around the artist Wallace Berman. Brittin settled in Venice Beach, California, in 1951, and his beach shack became a hangout for the Berman circle, which included actors Dean Stockwell and Dennis Hopper, artist John Altoon, curator Walter Hopps and poet David Meltzer, among many others. A self-taught photographer, Brittin was working as a mailman at the time, and spent much of his free time wandering the streets with a camera; he came to know Venice intimately, and his pictures of the town are freighted with a hushed beauty and forlorn sweetness. In the early 1960s the focus of Brittin's life shifted dramatically when he became involved with the civil rights movement. "I suddenly realized I was compelled to do something," Brittin recalls, "because the times demanded it." As a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality, Brittin documented the dramatic non-violent protests that occurred throughout Southern California, and made a courageous trip to the deep South, in 1965, to assist with the registration of black voters. As the 60s progressed he documented the antiwar movement, and by the end of the decade was devoting most of his time to the Black Panther Party. These two very different social revolutions are at the heart of Charles Brittin: West and South. With 150 images--138 of them previously unpublished--this monograph is published on the occasion of a 2011 retrospective at Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.
Charles Brittin (born 1928) moved to California from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after enrolling at UCLA. He contributed several photographs to Wallace Berman's Semina magazine throughout the 50s and 60s, while working as a photographer for Charles and Ray Eames. After a two-decade hiatus, Brittin returned to photography in the 1990s, also making video works.

Featured image is one of Charles Brittin's civil rights movement photos from the '60s, reproduced from Charles Brittin: West and South.

Charles Brittin: West and South

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
"I think the racial tensions America struggled with during the 60s—and many of the problems we face today—are rooted in the fear of strangers. Fear of the unknown seems to be an essential part of our animal nature, and strangeness can manifest itself in many different ways: skin color, speaking a different language, just looking or behaving differently. That fear may have been an evolutionary necessity—the unknown is likely to be hazardous—so being suspicious of outsiders, and aligning yourself with a clan, or a tribe, or a nation, had survival advantages. Unfortunately, those fears can lead to terrible atrocities, too, and most people don't try very hard to overcome their fear, because that's hard work."

Charles Brittin, excerpted from West and South.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

THOMAS EVANS | DATE 5/25/2011

Charles Brittin: West and South (Hatje Cantz, 2011)

Charles Brittin: West and South

Until the publication of West and South, the photographer Charles Brittin’s best known work was probably his account of the arrest of the artist Wallace Berman, at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1958. This new volume, off press just after Brittin’s death in January of this year, both elucidates and reaches beyond the photographer’s role in the Berman circle, casting him more broadly as the insider chronicler of postwar Los Angeles counterculture, from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. Pregentrification Venice Beach and its late 1950s assemblagist denizens comprise the “West” portion of the volume, and the African-American civil rights activists of the mid- to late-60s comprise the “South” part. The thematic thread throughout both halves is not only the city of Los Angeles, but the portrayal of those committed to causes that counter prevailing values and laws. continue to blog


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