Nanny and self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009) (previously here and here) kept nearly 150,000 photographic images, including street photography and self-portraits, hidden from the world until an estate sale in 2007 revealed a large bulk of her secretive hobby. Since 2010 her photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and were the subject of the 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Although her mostly Chicago and New York-based photographs have become infamous in the decade since their discovery, her color images have been less prevalent due to the technical challenges involved in their development and recovery. This month the largest monograph of her full-color photographs was published by Harper Collins, which includes images pulled from the roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides spanning the last 30 years of her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work explores over 150 of her colorful images with details that have been gathered about her story and photographic process. The book also features a forward by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.
“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”
Vivian Maier: The Color Work was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City, who will be presenting an exhibition of the same title opening November 14, 2018 and running through January 5, 2019. Several of the color photographs included in the exhibition will be presented for the first time. You can see more of Maier’s black and white and color photography on this portfolio site dedicated to her collection, and you can purchase a copy of the new book on Amazon. (via Chicago Magazine)
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Whimsical Literary Scenes Arranged with Hundreds of Colorful Hardcover and Paperback Novels by Elizabeth Sagan
Prolific reader and book collector Elizabeth Sagan uses Instagram as a platform to promote the engaging experience of reading physical books. Using her colorful collection of thousands of hardcover and paperback novels, she builds imaginative scenes that transport her audience into the storyline of dozens of literary tales. Over the last few months she has masqueraded as an angel with gigantic book wings, surfed a blue wave of literary titles, and laid at the center of a dazzling star of stacked texts. Sagan also co-runs the account My Book Features with James Trevino, where the pair shares their favorite book art images and novels from around the world. You can see more of her creative book compositions on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
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Majestic Conservatories and Cozy Private Potting Sheds Showcase the Universal Appeal of Glass Greenhouses
Photographer duo India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson (known collectively as Haarkon) celebrate the universal beauty and rich history of glass greenhouses in a new book, Glasshouse Greenhouse. Filled with verdant images of greenhouses from around the world, the book is divided into seven thematic chapters including History, Research, and Pleasure. Haarkon complement the visual storytelling with written reflections that explain each location and their experience in discovering it.
The UK-based pair travels widely for their editorial and commercial work as visual storytellers, and seeking out greenhouses has become a touchpoint in their explorations of new places. In an interview with the Telegraph, Hobson shares, “It’s a fusion of both botanicals and architecture, an odd but extremely satisfying mix of the organic and engineered which I think appeals to a broad range of [people]. To me, they are a universal language in some ways: the fusion of many cultures and countries all under one beautiful glass roof.”
Freshly published by Pavilion Books on October 4th, Glasshouse Greenhouse is Haarkon’s debut book and it is available on Amazon. You can see more from Hobson and Edmondson on their website and Instagram.
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The Movable Books Society, a non-profit organization of pop-up book professionals and enthusiasts, recently released a collection of pop-up cards dedicated to the alphabet. The letter-filled tome, titled A to Z: Marvels in Paper Engineering, features designs from 26 paper engineers and celebrates the Society’s 25-year history. Each card is consistent in size, measuring six by eight inches, but features strikingly different designs from a wide array of paper-focused designers.
Included are the strong graphic sensibility of Kelli Anderson (previously), Hiromi Takeda’s delicate ode to flowers, and a supernova “S” by Isabel Uria, an Ecuadorian artist who also designed the clamshell box. In addition to each letter folio that includes a description of its artist’s inspiration, the compendium comes with a history of The Movable Book Society by Ann Montanaro Staples and an introductory essay by Larry Seidman. A to Z is limited to 2,000 copies and is available for pre-order on the Society’s website.
Update: Filmmaker Christopher Helkey recently released a mini-documentary of all 26 designers opening and explaining their letters, which is now embedded below.
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Portland-based artist Christina Mrozik (previously) closely observes flora and fauna to create hybrid drawings that unite the two in haunting new forms. In her monochrome work hair springs from hollow snake skins, claws emerge from floral bulbs, and spiders reveal human-like innards. Although there is a nightmarish quality to these unnatural combinations, a graceful undercurrent marks the way each invented creature twists upon the page.
Recently Mrozik compiled a collection of drawings and writings she created while moving through a period of depression. Despite their surreal composition, they express the deeply human emotions of loss and fear. “Merging pieces of organ, flora, and animal, these faceless drawings are an attempt to capture the ‘haunted’ feeling of inaccessibility, expressing an experience outside the clarity of language,” she explains. “Releasing this collection as a book creates a physical reminder both of the reality of a difficult circumstance, and the community moving through the common casualty of life alongside you. It creates the space that only books can, where one can participate whilst in the solitude of their experience.”
Her new book, Haunted Bodies: An Art Book of Poems and Drawings is currently being funded through Kickstarter. You can see more of her drawings, illustrations, and recent ceramic works on her website and Instagram.
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Barbara Wildenboer (previously) delicately cuts and extracts the pages of old books to produce sculptural explorations of the contents inside. Thinly sliced paper fragments frame world maps found in old atlases or appear like a nervous system in an altered copy of Functional Neuroanatomy. The works are part of an ongoing project titled the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large, to which she has been contributing altered books since 2011. The series uses the site of the library as a metaphor for the larger universe, while also focusing on the decrease of printed materials as a result of the digital age.
“Through the act of altering books and other paper based objects the intention is to draw emphasis to our understanding of history as mediated through text or language and our understanding of the abstract terms of science through metaphor,” Wildenboer explains on her website.
The Cape Town-based artist sources her books and maps from secondhand bookshops and flea markets from around the world, looking specifically for publications that have illustrations, paper quality, and subject matter that might be interesting to slice and transform. This November she will open a solo exhibition at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg which will be followed by another solo exhibition in March 2019 at the their London location. You can see more of her paper-based sculptures and collages on her website and Instagram.
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Recently Digitized Journals Grant Visitors Access to Leonardo da Vinci’s Detailed Engineering Schematics and Musings
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London recently published scans of two of the Leonardo da Vinci notebooks so website visitors can digitally zoom and flip through the drawings and musings of the Italian Renaissance painter, architect, inventor, and sculptor. Jumbled together in the delicate journals are thoughts on both science and art—detailed charts and speculations contained on the same pages as observational sketches of hats or horse hooves.
Da Vinci is believed to have started recording his thoughts in notebooks during the 1480s while he was a military and naval engineer for the Duke of Milan. The writing included in the notebooks was produced in 16th-century Italian “mirror-writing,” which one reads right to left. Scholars have debated the reasoning behind this style, believing it was either a way to code his thoughts, or simply make writing easier as a left-handed artist. “Writing masters at the time would have made demonstrations of mirror-writing, and his letter-shapes are in fact quite ordinary: he used the kind of script that his father, a legal notary, would have used,” an article on the V&A’s website explains. “It is possible to decipher Leonardo’s curious mirror-writing, once the eye has become accustomed to the style.”
The collective title for the five notebooks in the V&A’s collection is the Forster Codices. This digitized set contains his earliest (1487-90, Milan) and latest (1505, Florence) notebooks in the museum’s collection. The name for the journals comes from John Forster who bequeathed the valuable works to the museum in 1876. The V&A plans to digitize the three other notebooks found in the two volumes Codex Forster II and III, for the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in 2019. You can learn more about the series of notebooks in the collection on the V&A’s website. (via Boing Boing)
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.