Publisher: München (Munich): Schirmer/Mosel, 1993
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: Fine / Fine
Item #: 113016
First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Black paper-covered boards with title printed in gray and red on cover and spine, with photographically illustrated dust jacket. Photographs by Axel Hütte. Essay (in German) by Gerda Breuer. Includes a brief bibliography and exhibition history. 108 pp., with 50 duotone plates beautifully printed by O.R.T. Kirchner & Graser, Berlin. 10-5/8 x 13-1/8 inches. Published on the occasion of the 1993 exhibition "Axel Hütte: Metropolen: London, Berlin, Paris" in the Ateliers des Museums Künstlerkolonie, Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt. Out of print. Very scarce. [Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).]
Fine in Fine dust jacket.
From Martin Parr and Gerry Badger: "With his combination of formality and a ruthlessly maintained stance of neutrality towards the world he photographs, Axel Hütte is an exemplary member of the Düsseldorf Tendency. His book London is an almost perfect example of the photobooks that embody the principles of the New Objectivity. He takes a typological approach to a building form that was largely ignored by local photographers before he turned his camera upon it--the social housing blocks built at various times during the twentieth century to house London's working class citizens. Hütte concentrates on two particular periods of mass social housing: the blocks built around the beginning of the twentieth century...and the now discredited tower blocks of the 1960s and 1970s, built by the now abolished Greater London Council...which echo the Stalinist manner of the widely admired East Berlin pattern. The particular combination of formality and studied objectivity adopted by Hütte here is a particularly potent one, but does not prevent a point of view from being promulgated, albeit through what is omitted rather than included. Londoners like to think of their city as being amongst the 'greenest' of urban conglomerations, yet there is hardly a sign of plant life in the German photographer's intense scrutiny of massed planes of concrete and brick. Human life is absent also, although Hütte often focuses on the entrance halls and circulation towers of these grim blocks. If this could be described as an inhuman environment, devised by opportunistic politicians and architects who do not really care for the proletariat, Hütte's rigorously geometric framing dehumanizes it further. He describes a London in which few would care to live, but too many unfortunately do."