- Hardcover: 200 pages
- Publisher: Steidl (December 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3869301228
- ISBN-13: 978-3869301228
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,517,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #395 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Individual Photographers > Artists' Books
- #1239 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Individual Photographers > Monographs
- #1726 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Reference
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Before Color Hardcover – December 2, 2010
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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Finally, I agree wholeheartedly with the other reviewer concerning the introduction. That's some of the most pretentious claptrap I've attempted to read since the narrative to Henri Cartier-Bresson's "Artless Art" book. Do yourself a favor and just skip the introduction. It's really an insult to Eggleston's own observations about his work.
My favorites are the urban landscape of street scenes, retail units and houses. The interiors, whether commercial premises or homes seem to lack the punch and vitality of the outside shots. The three all color books I've mentioned are almost all exterior images.
The 152 photos have been scanned from Eggleston's original prints (and here they are printed as 175 screen quadratones) and I found it interesting to see how the texture varied from photo to photo. Some have a stippled appearance ( two military personnel, page 94/95 or office equipment, page 128/129) a newly built house (pages 74/75) looks as if you were standing in front of it in real-life because the detail is so precise or the very soft look of three teenagers at a wedding (page 193). Two night photos on pages 162/163 have incredible contrast unlike anything else in the book. Eggleston, by doing his own black and white prints, seems to be experimenting with the textures it's possible to get with various photographic papers.
As this is a photo book there is the usual essay at the start of the book. I find, from experience that these seem to fall into two categories: the extremely informative, like John Szarkowski's in 'William Eggleston's Guide' or the very generalized as the three pages by Dave Hickey in this book. It's called 'Deconstructing reconstruction: Eggleston in before color' and says very little including stuff like this:
'The shadowless, white urban symmetries and green arboreal chaos dissolve into the smooth grisaille of penultimate entropy'.
'So the pleasure we derive from these photographs bears with it a cautionary obbligato about the horrors of careless ennui'.
I wish art book publishers would stick to a critic's overview of the artist or subject and forget about anything from others.
Because much of Eggleston's work in these photos suggests his searching and experimenting for a style that eventually exploded with his amazing color work I think the book is more for the confirmed fan rather than others.