PUBLISHER
Steidl/The Gordon Parks Foundation/The Art Institute of Chicago

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9.75 x 11.5 in. / 128 pgs / 79 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2016 p. 5   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783958291096 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Chicago, IL
The Art Institute of Chicago, 05/21/16–08/28/16

Photographer Gordon Parks and author Ralph Ellison collaborated on two historic photo-essays-- "Harlem Is Nowhere" and "A Man Becomes Invisible"-- both published in full for the first time here

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STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION/THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt Jr., Douglas Druick. Introduction by Matthew S. Witkovsky, John F. Callahan. Text by Michal Raz-Russo, Jean-Christophe Cloutier.

Featured image is reproduced from <I>Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem</I>.

Parks and Ellison collaborated on two historic photo-essays, now published in full for the first time

It is relatively unknown that the photographer Gordon Parks was close friends with Ralph Ellison, author of the acclaimed 1952 novel Invisible Man. Even less known is the fact that their common vision of racial injustices, coupled with a shared belief in the communicative power of photography, inspired collaboration on two important projects, in 1948 and 1952. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the picture press, Parks and Ellison first joined forces on an essay titled "Harlem Is Nowhere" for ‘48: The Magazine of the Year.

Conceived while Ellison was already three years into writing Invisible Man, this illustrated essay was centered on the Lafargue Clinic, the first non-segregated psychiatric clinic in New York City, as a case study for the social and economic conditions in Harlem. He chose Parks to create the accompanying photographs, and during the winter of 1948, the two roamed the streets of Harlem, with Parks photographing under the guidance of Ellison’s writing. In 1952 the two collaborated again on "A Man Becomes Invisible" for the August 25 issue of Life, which promoted Ellison’s newly released novel. This is the first publication on Parks’ and Ellison’s two collaborations, one of which was lost, while the other was published only in reduced form.

Gordon Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1912. In addition to his storied tenures photographing for the Farm Security Administration (1941–45) and Life (1948–72), Parks found success as a film director, introducing Blaxploitation through his film Shaft (1971). Parks died in 2006.

Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma City in 1913. He enrolled at Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute in Macon County, Alabama, as a music major and later turned to writing essays and short stories for publications such as New Masses, The Negro Quarterly, The New Republic and Saturday Review. Invisible Man won the National Book Award in 1953. Ellison published two collections of essays: Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986). He died in 1994.


Featured image is reproduced from Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Artforum

Solveig Nelson

Illuminating both the parallels and divergences between Parks's and Ellison's work, this show promises a new perspective on the pair's joint use of photography during the civil rights movement, a period of heightened attention to the rhetoric of images.

On the Seawall

Michal Raz-Russo

...captures the rich expressiveness of their work in an austerely designed format that honors both the imagery and the prose and invites the reader to linger over the page.

Hyperallergic

John Edwin Mason

Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, two of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, shared a vision of what it meant to be black in the US. Parks, a photographer and filmmaker, and Ellison, a novelist and essayist, collaborated twice on projects that revealed, through words and images, what they believed to be essential aspects of the African American condition. Although the collaborations differed in form, the sensibility that animated them was the same, and so was the setting — Harlem.

Time, Best Photobooks of 2016

Liz Ronk

brings together the important collaboration between two artistic geniuses…the relevance of social change has never rung so true.

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

in stock  $45.00


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/20/2016

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem at Art Institute of Chicago

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem at Art Institute of Chicago

Opening this weekend at the Art Institute of Chicago, Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem reunites for the first time two little-known collaborations between the renowned photographer and writer which aimed to make the black experience visible in postwar America. Their 1948 photo essay, "Harlem Is Nowhere," produced for ’48: The Magazine of the Year was lost, and only a fragment of their 1952 “A Man Becomes Invisible” was published in Life. See video below.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/23/2016

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

Shot for the 1952 photo essay A Man Becomes Invisible, published in the August 25 issue of Life magazine, Gordon Parks' "Untitled, Harlem, New York" is reproduced from Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem, Steidl's fascinating and expertly composed catalog to the exhibition currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. This landmark publication reunites for the first time two little-known journalistic collaborations between the renowned photographer and equally influential writer which illuminated the black experience in postwar America. Most of the photographs, including this one, were never published at the time they were made, and are seen here for the first time, alongside other archival materials, including unpublished manuscripts by Ellison with handwritten notes. continue to blog


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