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Comment: 2006 1st edition crisp tight hardcover withdrawn library very good dust jacket sharp corners oversized
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Approaching Nowhere: Photographs Hardcover – September 17, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Brouws  is a fine art photographer and part-time writer who has nine books to his credit, authoring five on railroad photography alone. He has been published in Trains, the NRHS Bulletin and the R&LHS Quarterly. A book of his own photographs, Approaching Nowhere (also from W. W. Norton) was published in 2006. His photographs can be found in major institutional collections around the country including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Harvard’s Fogg Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition (1st printing), edition (September 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393062740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062748
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 0.8 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
They're everywhere and so like the title of this book: nowhere. Wherever the tarmac leads signs of commercial chaos and eventually abandonment will probably appear. In theory nothing wrong with that, businesses come and go but it seems unique to America that a gone business is remarkably reluctant to clean up after itself. The detritus of commerce just litters the landscape and a fortunate by-product of this mess, over recent years, is an increasing visual record created by a small band of brilliant topographic photographers.

Jeff Brouws has spent some years casting his creative eye over urban sprawl, interstate commercial failure and inner city decay. This latest book captures all this so well in these ninety-eight photos. The first thing you'll notice about the book (perhaps portfolio is a better word) is the size, an impressive 12.25 inches deep by 11.5 wide which gives the images the sort of display they deserve, helped also by the excellent layout and 175dpi printing. Divided into three photographic sections: Highway Landscape, Discarded Landscape and Impossibility of Ruins, this last section has nineteen remarkable shots of rust-belt inner city decay. Because of the vastness of this city blight there is more chance that the authorities will do something about it while the single abandoned highway gas station will stay just that--abandoned.

The Highway Landscape has the most photos and it is here that frequently a shot will jump off the page, it just seems so right. Page sixty-one has a beautiful night image of the Sands Restaurant in Fresno, a neon sign and other lettering perfectly framed within the image area or the gas station ruins in Vidal Junction, CA, nicely composed into thirds, sky, buildings and an earth foreground.
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Format: Hardcover
If you collect art books about the contemporary landscape, this is one you should have. It's Brouws' sixth book, and is an ideal summation of his very productive career so far.

Brouws' work defines the term "landscape" as do the great cultural geographers, such as J.B. Jackson: It's a terrain that acts upon and is acted upon by its human inhabitants. There are few things more confounding, yet fascinating, than the behavior of other humans. We persist in the same habits and choices, despite frequently catastrophic results. Approaching Nowhere illuminates these foibles by studying their consequences through superb photography.

While Brouws' edifying eye for this world is sharply focused on the often sad reality of uncivilized sprawl, I find no stridence or intemperate cynicism in his attitude. Instead, I see the investigative sensibility of an earnest anthropologist, combined with the creative eloquence of a very talented artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been deeply touched by this book. Jeff Brows is a master creating moments and places.

I'm writting this review after two previous one which describes perfectly what this incredible book is, so I won't repeat it.

I just can say that I'd file this book under "poetry".

Greetings from Barcelona
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