ADAM BELL is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail
MAR 2018 | Art Books
First and foremost, photographs describe surfaces. Although lingering on texture and tonal gradations, their meanings always extend, expand, and multiply beyond what they show and the surfaces to which they attend. Yet how does a photograph describe the surface of New York City?
JUNE 2016 | Art Books
Eloquently balancing hope and somber despair, Chris Killip’s large-format black-and-white work grapples with the fragility and strength of community in the face of economic change, governmental indifference, and outright hostility.
FEB 2014 | Art Books
At the time of writing this review, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are poised to commence. While much of the media in the United States is focused on the homophobic policies of Putins Russia, little attention is paid to the two recent suicide bombings in Russias Northern Caucasus region, or the astronomical cost of the games themselves.
JUL-AUG 2014 | Art Books
One of the pivotal figures of 20th-century photography, Walker Evanss austere and formally precise images of the American vernacular helped define a stylistic approach to photography that continues to resonate with contemporary artists.
DEC 14-JAN 15 | Art Books
The task of the photographer in examining the effects of war has become increasingly problematic. At a time when cell phones, video, and social media dominate the coverage of events, the heroic model of the photojournalist braving the front lines has lost its relevance and forced artists and documentarians to look for alternative approaches to scrutinize conflict.
APR 2012 | Art Books
In the mid-20th century, photographers such as Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, Lee Friedlander, and Helen Levitt captured the vitality of the modern city and helped define the genre of street photography.
OCT 2011 | Art Books
Guidi is a photographer whose gritty Neorealist-influenced documentary work is little known and underappreciated in the United States. Working in the tradition of Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, and Stephen Shore, Guidis large format color photographs are full of surprises and pictorial sophistication.
FEB 2017 | Art Books
Given how little images can actually do, it is often surprising how much we expect of them. We pin our hopes on them to reveal and transform, to mitigate injustice and make the world a better place.
APR 2015 | Art Books
It was almost 10 years after Gerald Ford told New York City to drop dead that a young Ken Schles picked up a camera and began to document his life in the East Village and Alphabet City.
APR 2014 | Art Books
Since the late 1960s, Robert Adams has documented the American West with a consistency and clarity that is rare for photographers. From his influential photography books to his writings, Adams has produced a complex body of work about the land we live in and inspired several generations of photographers.
DEC 14-JAN 15 | Art Books
The Rails selection of the best art books of 2014.
JUL-AUG 2013 | Art Books
For many young photographers in the 70s and 80s, Winogrand was a mythic figure. The territory Winogrand carved first in the streets of Manhattan, and later in the rodeos of Texas, the airports of New York City, and the open streets of Los Angeles, helped established a photographic language of spontaneous engagement with the world.
DEC 12-JAN 13 | Art Books
Mårten Langes Another Language is the latest book published by the increasingly influential photobook publisher MACK. While Lange has self-published numerous books, this is his first by a major publisher and an exciting addition to the young photographers growing body of work.
DEC 11-JAN 12 | Art Books
In the late 1950s, Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate carved a bloody trail of mayhem across the plains of Nebraska and Wyoming. At the end of their three-day killing spree, more than 10 people lay dead, including Fugates family.