PUBLISHER
Steidl/The Gordon Parks Foundation

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9.75 x 11.5 in. / 168 pgs / 60 color / 10 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 35   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783958296961 TRADE
List Price: $40.00 CDN $56.00

AVAILABILITY
Out of stock

BROWSE THE 2020 FALL CATALOG

Preview our FALL 2020 catalog, featuring 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION

Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957

Edited with text by Sarah Hermanson Meister. Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt Jr., Glenn D. Lowry. Text by Nicole Fleetwood, Bryan Stevenson.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957.'

Gordon Parks’ ethically complex depictions of crime in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with previously unseen photographs

When Life magazine asked Gordon Parks to illustrate a recurring series of articles on crime in the United States in 1957, he had already been a staff photographer for nearly a decade, the first African American to hold this position. Parks embarked on a six-week journey that took him and a reporter to the streets of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Unlike much of his prior work, the images made were in color. The resulting eight-page photo-essay “The Atmosphere of Crime” was noteworthy not only for its bold aesthetic sophistication, but also for how it challenged stereotypes about criminality then pervasive in the mainstream media. They provided a richly hued, cinematic portrayal of a largely hidden world: that of violence, police work and incarceration, seen with empathy and candor.

Parks rejected clichés of delinquency, drug use and corruption, opting for a more nuanced view that reflected the social and economic factors tied to criminal behavior and afforded a rare window into the working lives of those charged with preventing and prosecuting it. Transcending the romanticism of the gangster film, the suspense of the crime caper and the racially biased depictions of criminality then prevalent in American popular culture, Parks coaxed his camera to record reality so vividly and compellingly that it would allow Life’s readers to see the complexity of these chronically oversimplified situations. The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957 includes an expansive selection of never-before-published photographs from Parks’ original reportage.

Gordon Parks was born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1912. An itinerant laborer, he worked as a brothel pianist and railcar porter, among other jobs, before buying a camera at a pawnshop, training himself and becoming a photographer. He evolved into a modern-day Renaissance man, finding success as a film director, writer and composer. The first African-American director to helm a major motion picture, he helped launch the blaxploitation genre with his film Shaft (1971). Parks died in 2006.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Guardian

Editors

Photographer Gordon Parks took a six-week journey throughout the US, from New York to Chicago to San Francisco to Los Angeles, to portray an unseen picture of crime in the country for Life Magazine in 1957... The photographs provided a richly-hued, cinematic portrayal of a largely hidden world of violence, police work, and incarceration, depicted with empathy and candor... Parks rejected clichés of delinquency, drug use, and corruption, instead opting for a more nuanced view of the social and economic factors tied to criminal behaviour.

L'Oeil de la Photographie

Noteworthy for its bold aesthetic and sophistication...challenge[s] pervasive stereotypes about criminality in mainstream media.

Art Newspaper

Tom Seymour

The series, when published, exposed mainstream understandings of black poverty, marginalisation and, crucially, how black citizens were treated by US police. They served to counteract enduring media stereotypes of black criminality, forcing the readers of Life to reassess their beliefs about an experience that even today garners little attention in US media.

Atlantic

Bill Shapiro

Gordon Parks, Life magazine’s first black photographer, revolutionized what a crime photo could look like...These are not only the most beautiful crime photos you have ever seen, but, quite possibly, the most important.

Vanity Fair

Laura Regensdorf

This slim, well-timed volume revisits a series that the 'Life' photographer shot in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, which subtly reframed the narrative around incarceration and crime. Published by Steidl and the Gordon Parks Foundation, in collaboration with MoMA, the book features essays that connect the historical dots, along with Parks’s photos of a still-changing world.

Dazed

Miss Rosen

Avoiding the hyper stylised noir aesthetics that defined popular depictions of gang life at the time, Parks created an intimate portrait of the harrowing reality for Black families systematically cut off from equal opportunities for employment, housing, education, and health. But the truth about Black lives did not resonate with his editors [at LIFE], who reframed the piece around a sensationalistic narrative of “urban violence” which still persists today. It wasn’t until 2017, 11 years after Parks’ death, that the work was finally reexamined in Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument (Steidl), a book exploring the vast discrepancy between the media’s distorted, fear mongering edit, and the artist’s vision, which had been erased.

Cultured

Jacoba Urist

Amid protests over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and others—and a national reckoning with police brutality and institutional racism—the work of mid-century photographer Gordon Parks, who died in 2006, feels pressing, with a newly released monograph that depicts racial injustice with urgent, aesthetic power.

Cultured

Jacoba Urist

Amid protests over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and others—and a national reckoning with police brutality and institutional racism—the work of mid-century photographer Gordon Parks, who died in 2006, feels pressing, with a newly released monograph that depicts racial injustice with urgent, aesthetic power.

Collector Daily

Blake Andrews

As a visual technician, Parks was superb. Working mostly at night and in shifting chaotic scenes, he possessed a knack for clarity built on years of photojournalistic practice.

AnOther

Belle Hutton

The Atmosphere of Crime features a selection of previously unpublished photographs from the series, as well as the original images that made up the searing Life story. Parks was tasked with investigating crime in the US and took photographs...a series looking at racial inequality in the USA...

TIME

Miss Rosen

[P]rovides an in-depth study of this historic body of work [...] Parks’ photographs told a different story, one that examined the underlying suffering, despair and fear of marginalized groups further exacerbated by police and prisons

Art Newspaper

The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957 traces Park's' early reportage as Life magazine's first black staff photographer. From across the US, Parks published image after image of black poverty, marginalization, addiction--and the constant, leering presence of police violence. Sixty years on, his images continue to offer a counter-narrative to enduring and racist representation of black lives.

Washington Post

Sebastian Smee

With his camera, Gordon Parks humanized the Black people others saw as simply criminals...Parks’s photographs present a more insightful, delicate and disinterested view. They remind us that an atmosphere is not the same as a narrative. One is complex, pervasive, inchoate and, like a fog, it can lift. The other is linear. Like an obsession, it keeps corkscrewing ahead, leaving all kinds of damage in its wake.

Brooklyn Rail

Yínká Elújuba

He was really a Renaissance man. Part of the mission of the foundation in keeping him relevant today is showing him as a really important American artist who was successful in bridging the gap between creating work that educated but was at the same time artistic, regardless of the medium. I

Brooklyn Rail

Re'al Christian

There is no question that the book is relevant today amid far-reaching conversations on policing in America. But to say that this book is prescient or timely is ultimately reductive—labeling it so merely reflects the white gaze. As the essays elucidate, the problems of crime and over-policing in disenfranchised communities have existed for centuries.

Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/17/2020

'Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime' is back in stock!

'Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime'  is back in stock!

"Crime Suspect with Gun, Chicago, Illinois" (1957) is reproduced from Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957, back in stock at last. "In this short series for Life, shot over six weeks and consisting of a few dozen images, Parks deftly captured the processes of criminalization, policing, arrest, and imprisonment," Nicole Fleetwood writes. "His photos allowed readers in the 1950s (and permit contemporary audiences) to see the steps along these processes—complete with officers on their beat looking for suspicious activity, the shakedown of criminal suspects, the administrative procedures of arrest and fingerprinting, and finally the bars and walls of prison, in this case San Quentin in California… Parks’s photographs foreshadow what will unfold in the coming decades, as civil rights activists and social movements make greater demands for equal rights, access, and justice, and as policing grows more aggressive and prisons more punitive. Seeing these images, we might ask what lessons we can learn from The Atmosphere of Crime to address the massive and brutal prison system we have inherited." continue to blog


GORDON PARKS MONOGRAPHS + ARTIST'S BOOKS

Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957

GORDON PARKS: THE ATMOSPHERE OF CRIME, 1957

Edited with text by Sarah Hermanson Meister. Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt Jr., Glenn D. Lowry. Text by Nicole Fleetwood, Bryan Stevenson.

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION

ISBN: 9783958296961
USD $40.00
| CAN $56

Pub Date: 6/16/2020
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: Muhammad Ali

GORDON PARKS: MUHAMMAD ALI

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION/THE NELSON-ATKINS MUSEUM OF ART

ISBN: 9783958296190
USD $55.00
| CAN $75

Pub Date: 2/11/2020
Active | In stock


Gordon Parks: The New Tide

GORDON PARKS: THE NEW TIDE

STEIDL/GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION/NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART

ISBN: 9783958294943
USD $65.00
| CAN $92

Pub Date: 11/20/2018
Active | In stock


Gordon Parks: The Flavio Story

GORDON PARKS: THE FLAVIO STORY

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION

ISBN: 9783958293441
USD $65.00
| CAN $87

Pub Date: 5/22/2018
Active | In stock


Gordon Parks: Collected Works

GORDON PARKS: COLLECTED WORKS

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION

ISBN: 9783958292628
USD $145.00
| CAN $195

Pub Date: 5/23/2017
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: I Am You

GORDON PARKS: I AM YOU

Edited with text by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Felix Hoffman.

STEIDL/THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION/C/O BERLIN

ISBN: 9783958291829
USD $50.00
| CAN $67.5

Pub Date: 11/22/2016
Active | Out of stock


Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

INVISIBLE MAN: GORDON PARKS AND RALPH ELLISON IN HARLEM

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

ISBN: 9783958291096
USD $45.00
| CAN $60

Pub Date: 6/28/2016
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott

GORDON PARKS: BACK TO FORT SCOTT

Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr. Introduction by Isabel Wilkerson. Text by Karen Haas.

STEIDL

ISBN: 9783869309187
USD $45.00
| CAN $60

Pub Date: 5/26/2015
Out of stock indefinitely | Not available


Gordon Parks: Segregation Story

GORDON PARKS: SEGREGATION STORY

Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Brett Abbott. Introduction by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Text by Maurice Berger.

STEIDL

ISBN: 9783869308012
USD $45.00
| CAN $60

Pub Date: 2/28/2015
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: Collected Works

GORDON PARKS: COLLECTED WORKS

STEIDL

ISBN: 9783869305301
USD $185.00
| CAN $250

Pub Date: 11/30/2012
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument

GORDON PARKS: THE MAKING OF AN ARGUMENT

STEIDL

ISBN: 9783869307213
USD $40.00
| CAN $54

Pub Date: 10/1/2013
Active | Out of stock


Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family

GORDON PARKS: A HARLEM FAMILY

Edited by Thelma Golden, Elizabeth Gwinn, Lauren Haynes. Foreword by Raymond J. McGuire.

STEIDL

ISBN: 9783869306025
USD $40.00
| CAN $54

Pub Date: 1/15/2013
Active | Out of stock



print icon


arrow back


arrow next


ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com