Publisher: Bologna, Italy: Damiani and Matsumoto Editions, 2014
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: New / New
Item #: 113526
Price is net to all; promotional discounts do not apply.
First edition, first printing. All five titles boldly signed in silver marker on the front free endpapers by Sugimoto. Photographs and text by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Creative direction and design by Takaaki Matsumoto, Matsumoto Incorporated, New York. Editorial coordination, copy editing and production management by Amy Wilkins, Matsumoto Incorporated, New York. Color separations, printing and binding by Grafiche Damiani, Italy. Printed on Phoenix Motion Xantur 170 gsm paper. The five books share the following format: Hardcover. Fine cloth-covered boards, with photographically illustrated dust jacket. 11-1/4 x 10-1/4 inches:
1. Dioramas (2014): 118 pp., with 56 duotone plates. ISBN: 9788862083270;
2. Seascapes (2015): 272 pp., with 213 duotone plates. ISBN: 9788862084161;
3. Theaters (2016): 176 pp., with 130 duotone plates. ISBN: 9788862084772;
4. Portraits (2018): 120 pp., with 70 duotone plates. ISBN: 9788862085823;
5. Architecture (2019): 160 pp., with 90 duotone plates. ISBN: 9788862086585.
New in publisher's shrink-wrap (slit open for signature). Dust jacket enclosed in a clear archival Brodart removable protective cover (publisher's shrink-wrap saved and included in each book).
On Dioramas: "Hiroshi Sugimoto began to photograph his Dioramas series, a body of work that spans almost four decades, when he moved to New York City from Japan in 1974. While looking at the galleries in the American Museum of Natural History, he noticed that if he looked at the dioramas with one eye closed, the artificial scenes--prehistoric humans, dinosaurs, and taxidermied wild animals set in elaborately painted backgrounds--looked utterly convincing. This visual trick launched his conceptual exploration of the photographic medium, which continues today."
On Seascapes: "This volume, the second in a series of books on Sugimoto's art, presents the complete series of over 200 Seascapes, some of which have never before been reproduced. All are identical in format, with the horizon line precisely bifurcating each image, though at times the sea and sky almost merge into one seamless unit. Each photograph captures a moment when the sea is placid, almost flat. Within this strict format, however, he has created a limitless array of portraits of his subjects."
On Theaters: "In the late 1970s, as Hiroshi Sugimoto was defining his artistic voice, he posed a question to himself: 'Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame?' The answer that came to him: 'You get a shining screen.' For almost four decades, Sugimoto has been photographing the interiors of theaters using a large-format camera and no lighting other than the projection of the running movie. He opens the aperture when a film begins and closes it when it ends. In the resulting images, the screen becomes a luminous white box, its ambient light subtly bringing forward the rich architectural details of these spaces."
On Portraits: "At first glance, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographic portrait of King Henry VIII of England is arresting: his camera has captured the tactility of Henry’s luxurious furs and silks, the elaborate embroidery of his doublet, and the light reflecting off of each shimmering jewel. The contours of the king’s face are so lifelike that he appears to be almost threedimensional. It seems as though the twenty-first century artist has traveled back in time nearly five hundred years to photograph his royal subject.
While Sugimoto’s portraits of historical figures appear to capture a lived moment in time, they are fictions. These portraits are in fact at least twice removed from the subject: his photograph captures a wax figure that has been created by a sculptor from either a photographic portrait or a painted one. The portraits of wax figures, which in this volume are presented alongside a handful of portraits of living subjects and memento mori, call into question what it is the portrait captures.
As with his other major bodies of work—'Dioramas', 'Seascapes', 'Theaters'—Sugimoto’s 'Portraits' address the passage of time and history. We take it for granted that a photograph of a living subject is true, but what does that mean?"
On Architecture: "In 1997, Hiroshi Sugimoto began a series of photographs of significant works of modernist architecture, intending “to trace the beginnings of our age via architecture.
One of the hallmarks of Sugimoto’s work is his technical mastery of the medium. He makes photographs exclusively with an 8 x 10” view camera, and his silver gelatin prints are renowned for their tonal range, total lack of grain, wealth of detail and overall optical precision. In making the Architecture photographs, however, he inverted his usual process: “Pushing out my old large-format camera’s focal length to twice-infinity... I discovered that superlative architecture survives the onslaught of blurred photography. Thus I began erosion-testing architecture for durability, completely melting away many of the buildings in the process.” The language of architectural modernism is distilled in photographs of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao.
By virtue of their blurriness and lack of color, the images strip down buildings to their essence, what we might imagine was the architect’s first, pure vision of form. The details of construction and imperfections that are a natural result of a massive, collaborative human undertaking, are absent, and instead light and shadow define the forms of these buildings.
The Architecture photographs continue the artist’s longstanding investigations of the passage of time and of history. Are these monuments to human ingenuity and the power of the industrial age as eternal as they seem?
'Architecture' contains 90 photographs, 19 of which are previously unpublished."