PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Steidl

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.25 in. / 224 pgs / 35 color / 160 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 96   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783958297067 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $92.00

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In stock

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STEIDL

Shigeru Onishi: Mathematical Structures

Edited by Manfred Heiting. Text by Ryuichi Kaneko.

Shigeru Onishi: Mathematical Structures

Photography as painting as printing: the avant-garde vision of an unknown postwar Japanese master

This book presents an overview of the astounding photographic oeuvre of Shigeru Onishi (1928–94) from the 1950s. Whether depicting nudes, cityscapes, trees or interiors (or combinations of these realized through multiple exposures or photomontages), what is most striking about Onishi’s photos are his unorthodox printing methods: using a brush to coat the photographic paper with emulsion, fogging, discoloration with acetic acid, creating the effect that the fixing process was incomplete, and color correction by varying the temperature during development.

The painterly results show Onishi’s interest to be not conventional representation but, in his words, the visual “formation of ideas,” and bringing out “the flavors of the image as they change” by embracing all aspects of chance involved in the photographic process. “In truth,” he argues, “if your photograph consists only of planned elements, it is essentially identical to a drawing of a single equilateral triangle.”

Also a mathematician, Onishi approached his work in this light: “To know the conditions of the object’s formation—this is the purpose of my photography, which is founded on a desire to pursue metamathematic propositions such as ‘the possibility of existence’ and ‘the possibility of optional choice.’”

Mathematical Structures, made in collaboration with MEM, Tokyo, is the first comprehensive book to present Onishi’s startlingly original vision.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Shigeru Onishi: Mathematical Structures.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Collector Daily

Loring Knoblauch

This handsome monograph, with its superlative production values and comprehensive background detail, makes a strong case for weaving Shigeru Onishi and his photography more prominently back into the art historical arc of mid 1950s Japanese photography.

Shigeru Onishi: Mathematical Structures

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