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Photography's Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes Hardcover – May 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Some fear that the photographic community's widespread and controversial adoption of digital processes will lead to technical standardization and numbing artistic uniformity. Fortunately, whatever the future of photography, we can all be grateful for the artists, such as those covered in this book, who are investigating and exploiting its past. This is a stunning survey of current work by inventive artists employing pre-20th century means to address postmodern and contemporary issues and aesthetics. The 60 artists, including Sally Mann and Chuck Close, utilize an array of processes (e.g., wet-plate photography) and applications (e.g., emulsion on steel) to create images that are dependent on light and time and that, as Mann states, "cost you dearly in time and energy." The 120 images include luscious cyanotype prints on various materials, enduring daguerreotypes, dreamy ambrotype prints, and eerie tintypes. An informative and accessible text by photography writer Rexer gives historic and theoretical perspective, and the brief technical glossary serves as a primer for the novice. Highly recommended for large academic and public collections, this is also an affordable resource for smaller libraries.
Debora Miller, Minneapolis
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810904020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810904026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.8 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James C. Steward on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lyle's focus on the recent upsurge of interest in historic and alternative printing techniques in photography focuses on a fascinating area of work in contemporary art, but is flawed by the writer's tendency to use obfuscating language, deployed in a tone that suggests you're "in the loop" if you get it and not if you don't. The subject awaits its definitive treatment but this volume is useful in the meantime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reader 1024 on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous poster that the definitive book on this subject has yet to be written. The printing is first-rate, so the images are gorgeously presented, although I wish some of them were larger.

The down side is that the text does not go into nearly enough depth on the subject. The introductory essay is just that, a good introduction to the topic, but each chapter (chapters are each devoted to an alternative process) has a short essay which only devotes a paragraph or two to each artist, followed by pages and pages of images which left me wanting to know more.

The essay by Chuck Close and the interview with Sally Mann are fascinating, but only serve to illustrate the potential this subject has to offer, but the book doesn't quite live up to.

Four stars on the strength of the images.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Hancock on February 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifuly constructed book with alot of really nice images. Certainly anyone could appreciate this book. My only complaint is that in the opening/introductory chapters, there is alot of unused space and few images until you get past that.
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