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Henry Wessel Hardcover – April 1, 2007

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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The Grey Ghost: New York City Photographs by Dan Winters
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For those interested in street photography, New York City, black-and-white imagery, or the earlier work of one of today’s most compelling photographers, The Grey Ghost is a must-have addition to your photobook collection. Learn more | See related books
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl & San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; First Edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 386521391X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865213914
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,284,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had been meaning to buy a book of Wessel's photos for some and this monograph seemed the best choice. The images date from 1967 to 2003 though the book was published in 2007 to coincide with two exhibitions of his work.

Looking through the plates and reading the two essays in the book I realized how committed Henry Wessel is to light, especially in the western US. With exterior shots there are very few clouds visible and the sky just becomes a light grey backdrop to whatever butts into it. The selection of photos covers a range themes: the man-made landscape of the highway and what can be seen along it; landscapes with people; residential buildings in California; night shots of housing with a simple light source (a porch or inside domestic lighting); several of single-storied dwellings which include nine color ones.

Though so many of the 133 plates are wonderful shots I was rather disappointed with the book because all of them come across, to me, as being too light. I accept that this is Wessel's style but I attribute it more to the printing (with 175 screen) of the book rather than a deliberate choice, though the prints could well have had a lightness to them. I was really made aware of this when looking at plate 112: `Santa Monica, 1989' which is reproduced virtually the same size in the excellent `An American Century of Photography' by Steve Davis. Here the blacks are solid which naturally helps the mid-tones and light areas of the image and being printed as a tritone with a 200+ screen helps too. The Steidl book lacks punch because the overall impression is of grayness and the blacks are never solid (I can still see the screen when using a tester).
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Format: Hardcover
This beautifully produced volume covers all the major body of works produced by Henry Wessel over the years in both black and white (the majority of pictures) and color. Wessel captured the "everyday" urban landscape of the 70's and if you are a fan of Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Lewis Baltz, etc. then you will enjoy the the photographs in this book. There are images from his series The West, his Nightwalk images which show pictures of houses illuminated by the light from within the houses (foreshadowing Todd Hido), and his Real Estate photos which have a brilliant use of color and seem to be a cousin of Stephen Shore's 1970's color work. The reproduction is excellent, and if you own just one Henry Wessel book, this is the one to get.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The images are full of a dry wit. The reproduction is quite washed out. Printing technology is way ahead of what was produced here.
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Format: Hardcover
He looks deeply into America, and developes his own vision. Take a look even if it isn't exactly your idea of a truly GREAT photograph.
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Format: Hardcover
I was somewhat disappointed in this book. It seems the editors picked the leftovers of his portfolio and saturated them in between some of Wessel's good work. This is the risk of buying a book without getting to look at it first.
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