After losing himself in Taos, New Mexico, for 15 years, Dennis Hopper (1936–2010) returned to Los Angeles in the mid-’80s. In 1987, on the verge of directing Colors, Hopper made use of a Polaroid camera to document gang graffiti in Los Angeles. He was particularly drawn to the abstract shapes of overlapping paint that appeared when graffiti had been covered up or written over, reminding him, he said, “that art is everywhere in every corner that you choose to frame and not just ignore and walk by.”
The Polaroids presented for the first time in this book are proof of that observation. Hopper firmly considered himself an “abstract expressionist and action painter by nature, and a Duchampian finger pointer by choice,” subscribing wholeheartedly to the idea that “the artist of the future will merely point his finger and say it’s art--and it will be art.”
In turning the instantaneous, disposable nature of the medium of Polaroid film into pictures as deliberate and final as an image achieved by an artist painting on canvas, these images represent the first part of Hopper’s journey back to the world of photography, picking up where he had left off so many years before. This book is in many ways a companion to Drugstore Camera (2015), also edited and designed by Michael Schmelling, which presented Hopper’s personal photographs taken in Taos, New Mexico.
Published by Steidl. Contributions by Christian Muller.
This is the catalogue for Ed Ruscha's exhibition Los Angeles Apartments, held at the Kunstmuseum Basel in 2013. In 1965, Ed Ruscha published Some Los Angeles Apartments, the third of his ongoing series of photographic books, and completed a group of ten related drawings that depict examples of the ubiquitous Southern California apartment building. The exhibition showed the preparatory studies for these drawings which were recently acquired by the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Kunstmuseum Basel. They are based directly on the photographs Ruscha made of the apartment buildings. Also included are photographs from Ruscha's Gasoline Stations series of 1962, one of which served as a model for the painting of Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas, of 1963. By immediately juxtaposing preparatory studies, drawings and photographs, Ruscha's working method is clearly highlighted and the significance of photography for his passage between abstraction and realism made evident.
In 2008, Bruce Davidson, who had already photographed New York and Paris, began exploring Los Angeles with a focus on its exotic plant life. The arid climate, normally hostile to life, allows for an exceptional botanical diversity in L.A. County that reaches from the surrounding foothills and mountain wilderness to the Pacific Ocean, and Davidson quickly became a Los Angeles convert. "Traffic, wealth, poverty, violence and other urban phenomena give way to valiant plant life where ivy thrives on the underside of the 405 and Glendale Freeway interchanges, and a tree in the foothills regenerates itself after a wildfire has parched its bark," he writes. "Without its plant life and human respect for it, L.A. would be a vast desert void." Nature of Los Angeles 2008–2013 depicts the city in black and white, presenting its beauty and banality as emblematic of urban existence in general. Bruce Davidson (born 1933) began photographing at the age of ten in Oak Park, Illinois. He studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University before being drafted into the army. After leaving military service in 1957, he freelanced for Life and in 1958 became a member of Magnum Photos. Davidson's work is held in many major museum collections and his awards include a Guggenheim fellowship (1962), the first National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Photography (1967) and an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art and Design (2011).
Published by Metropolis Books. By Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin. Foreword by Thom Mayne.
Never Built Los Angeles explores the “what if” Los Angeles, investigating the values and untapped potential of a city still in search of itself. A treasure trove of buildings, master plans, parks, follies and mass-transit proposals that only saw the drawing board, the book asks: why is Los Angeles a mecca for great architects, yet so lacking in urban innovation? Featured are more than 100 visionary works that could have transformed both the physical reality and the collective perception of the metropolis, from Olmsted Brothers and Bartholomew’s groundbreaking 1930 Plan for the Los Angeles Region, which would have increased the amount of green space in the notoriously park-poor city fivefold; to John Lautner’s Alto Capistrano, a series of spaceship-like apartments hovering above a mixed-use development; to Jean Nouvel’s 2008 Green Blade, a condominium tower clad entirely in cascading plants. Through text and more than 400 color and black-and-white illustrations drawn from archives around the U.S., authors Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin explore the visceral (and sometimes misleading) power of architectural ideas conveyed through sketches, renderings, blueprints, models and the now waning art of hand drawing. Many of these schemes--promoting a denser, more vibrant city--are still relevant today and could inspire future designs. Never Built Los Angeles will set the stage for a renewed interest in visionary projects in this, one of the world’s great cities.
Published by Damiani/Alleged Press. Edited by Aaron Rose. Text by Jeffrey Deitch, Michael Mann.
Self-taught Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti (born 1944) was one of the very first photographers to document the street culture of East Los Angeles, and The Thrill Is Gone is a retrospective history of his celebrated photographic work of the 1970s. Chapters include “Bikers,” “East L.A. Diary,” “Folsom Prison,” “Maria Sabina,” “Muscle Beach” and “Street Writers,” along with selected other iconic images from this important time in the photographer’s creative history. As a boy growing up in Italy, Cesaretti listened to jazz and rock ’n’ roll on the radio, and was drawn to the worlds of Marlon Brando and James Dean in Hollywood movies. But when he arrived in the U.S.--Cesaretti has lived in Los Angeles since 1970--it was the raw energy, graffiti, culture and people of East L.A. that seduced him. His early work--featured here in the chapter “East L.A. Diary”--documents his immersion in the low-rider subculture of the Klique car club. Cesaretti credits his poor English with allowing him to earn the trust of local residents--he found it hard to understand their graffiti on his own and had to ask for help. Independent curator Aaron Rose describes him as “one of the few true artists documenting outlaw cultures in the tradition of Robert Frank.”
Published by Michael Kohn Gallery. Introduction by Tosh Berman. Text by Claudia Bohn-Spector, Sam Mellon, Ken Allan.
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the artist’s accidental death at age 50, this volume offers the first substantial survey of the entire oeuvre of Wallace Berman (1926–76) from the late 1940s until 1976. Berman has been long heralded as one of the most significant and influential artists to emerge in Southern California. Spiritually inclined yet steeped in popular culture and the political events of the day, he conducted reconnaissance far beyond the borders of California, mining the American psyche and broadcasting his ideas through mail art, publications, photographs and multilayered art works. Berman intersected with several intriguing cultural moments, starting with his first Los Angeles solo show in 1957 at Ed Kienholz and Walter Hopps’ Ferus Gallery. He also participated in an important 1966 group exhibition in London at the legendary Robert Fraser Gallery, whose other artists included Richard Hamilton, Bruce Conner and Peter Blake--who put Berman’s face among the notable crowd in his cover for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As interest in West Coast art has increased over the past 40 years, scholars have viewed Berman as a quintessentially Californian artist whose entourage of likeminded friends was essential to the formation of his creative vision. This volume takes a broader view, reassessing Berman’s significant contributions to the history of 20th-century American art.
PUBLISHER Michael Kohn Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 11 x 9.5 in. / 120 pgs / illustrated throughout.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 7/26/2016 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2016 p. 89
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781880086216TRADE List Price: $59.95 CDN $79.00 GBP £52.99
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in stock $59.95
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The Swimming Pool is a new photographic essay from California-based street photographer Deanna Templeton (born 1969) that departs from her usual style to offer an expressive, intimate view of the human form underwater. The series was born after an impromptu nude swimming-pool shoot of husband and artist Ed Templeton, which spurred an eight-year journey in the study of light, expression and the enigma of water. Shooting entirely on color and black-and-white film and Polaroid, Templeton sent friends into the pool to be photographed in their truest form. Unlike her street photography, in which subjects were often strangers, Templeton found that creating these portraits required more intimacy and connection—a feeling that is apparent throughout every image in the series, which show strong, liberated individuals, confident and at ease in their most beautiful and vulnerable moments. As Ed Templeton writes in his afterword to this volume, "the nude swimmer is floating in a void of quiet solitude, the gentle pressure of being underwater enclosing her form like a baby in a womb and nothing exists outside of this world. A lone figure amidst a sea of blues and greys and frenetic sunlight performing a solitary dance for the photographer above, choosing movements and directions, twisting and swooping, contorting and expelling breaths painting a picture of form and light together." The Swimming Pool offers a deep and inspiring view of the human form.
PUBLISHER Um Yeah Arts
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 12.5 x 11 in. / 96 pgs / 26 color / 41 bw
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/28/2016 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2016 p. 102
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781942884002TRADE List Price: $55.00 CDN $72.50 GBP £50.00
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Published by Damiani. Edited by Brad Elterman. Text by Julian Wasser.
This long-overdue monograph presents an astonishing panorama of a bygone Los Angeles from photographer Julian Wasser. Some of the images are very well known--Joan Didion leaning against a Corvette Stingray in Hollywood, 1968; Marcel Duchamp playing chess at his seminal 1963 Pasadena exhibition--while many others, such as Barbara Hershey and David Carradine in bed in their Laurel Canyon house, Jack Nicholson and Angelica Huston at Jack’s Mulholland Drive home, or the Fonda family lined up on the family sofa, paint a picture of a very private Hollywood of the 1960s and 70s, when privacy was possible and celebrity culture had not yet completely consumed the country. Mingled with these iconic faces are pictures of California counterculture such as the Hog Farm Commune in Sunland; surfers in Malibu Beach; musicians such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Frank Zappa, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell and Elton John, documentation of events such as Robert Kennedy’s campaign and the Watts riots; shots of Clint Eastwood on the set of Magnum Force, George and Marci Lucas with Martin Scorcese and Roman Polanski at Polanski’s house on Cielo Drive after the murder of Sharon Tate in 1969. Julian Wasser started his career in photography as a copy boy in the Washington, DC bureau of the Associated Press. He was a contract photographer for Time magazine for many years, and his photographs have also appeared in (and on the covers of) Life, Newsweek, People, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Oggi, Hello, Playboy, Elle, Vogue and GQ.
The greater Los Angeles area covers 4,850 square miles--the size of a small country--and holds almost 18 million people. Perhaps America’s largest human creation, it has been vilified and celebrated in equal measure since its inception. Is L.A. the face of the apocalypse, or an ultimate paradise at continent’s edge--or both? With LA Day/LA Night, photographer Michael Light continues his aerial examination of the arid American West by bringing together two opposing views of the city in a double-volume set. LA Day stares directly into the sun, which blasts the metropolis in a relentless and specific light. LA Night drifts over the city as it grows darker, and begins to resemble the starry sky vaulted above. Referencing Ed Ruscha, Peter Alexander, Julius Schulman and writers from Philip K. Dick to Raymond Chandler, LA Day/LA Night continues Los Angeles’s rich cultural legacy of examining its favorite schizophrenic subject--itself.