Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph
was originally published in 1972, one year after the artist's death, in conjunction with a retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art. Edited and designed by Arbus's daughter, Doon, and her friend and colleague, painter Marvin Israel, the monograph contains eighty of her most masterful photos. The images in this newly published edition, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collection's original publication, were printed from new three-hundred-line-screen duotone film, allowing for startlingly clear reproduction. The impact of the collection is heightened by the introduction, which contains excerpts of audio tapes in which Arbus discusses her experiences as a photographer and her feelings about the often bizarre nature of her subjects. Diane Arbus's work has indelibly impacted modern visual sensibilities, evidenced by the intensely personal moments captured in this powerful group of photographs.
"Diane Arbus was no a theorist but an artist. Her concern was not to buttress philosophical positions but to make pictures. She loved photography for the miracles it performs each day by accident, and respected it for the precise intentional tool that it could be, given talent, intelligence, dedication and discipline. Her pictures are concerned with private rather than social realities, with psychological rather than visual coherence, with the prototypical and mythic rather than the topical and temporal. Her real subject is no less than the unique interior lives of those she photographed."--John Szarkowski, 1972, Director, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art
"I have never seen pictured like them before, and I am sure I will never see their equal again. They are the product of something beyond the camera, the result of a long, complex and intensely human process. No one can go into the street tomorrow and take a Diane Arbus photograph. That would be merely adjusting a lens and pressing a button. What made her pictures great was everything that happened before she pressed the button."--Douglas Davis, Newsweek, 1984
"Diane Arbus is one of our legends, her monograph a pivotal classic that changed the direction of photography in America. She captures the complexity and the art in reality. The quality that defines her work and separates it from almost all other photography is her ability to empathize on a level far beyond language."--Nan Goldin, Bookforum, 1995