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Ansel Adams at 100 Taschenbuch – 2003

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Taschenbuch, 2003
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Ansel Adams at 100 celebrates the centenary of one of America's best-loved photographers. This superlative catalog of an exhibition organized by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents the most dramatic and the most delicate of Adams's formal compositions, from spectacular mountainscapes to grasses on a pond, all reflecting his avowedly religious relationship to nature. Previously unpublished examples of Adams's early images show how he worked through the day, using changing light and different vantage points to interpret a subject. A fascinating comparison of his darkroom techniques is given in two printings of a 1948 negative of Mount McKinley, made in 1949 and 1978 to very different effects, one brooding and luminous, the other crisp and monumental. (The conventional wisdom is to prefer the earlier, but this reviewer loves them both.) The text by John Szarkowski, director emeritus of New York MoMA's photography department, gives biographical details and gracefully places Adams in the history of 20th-century photography and the conservation movement. Impeccable technical standards were a hallmark of Adams's work, and this book follows his tradition. Each black-and-white image is a tritone, meaning that it was printed from three different plates corresponding to different parts of the original photograph's gray scale, resulting in an extremely rich chromatic range. Light really does appear to glisten off a wet rock, and white aspens to glow. The images have been very carefully chosen, each page of a double spread complementing the other. The book's paper is custom-made, it is bound in linen and presented in a linen slipcase, and a complimentary facsimile of one of Adams's icons is included. The whole adds up to a most unusual and pleasing artifact: Ansel Adams at 100 consciously sets out to be the definitive study of a master, and it succeeds. --John Stevenson -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

Pressestimmen

"A book that's also art."

The New York Times

"Long after the museum tour of Ansel Adams at 100 ends, this book will endure as a vital document of his vast contribution to the art of landscape."

San Diego Union Tribune

"[Szarkowski's] incisive biographical essay and reproductions worthy of Adams' exacting standards make [the book] a fitting monument to an American visionary."

Artnews

"[Adams] probably did as much as any artist of the 20th century to shape the American psyche, to change our perception of the world...These pictures strive for classical purity, order, and finality."

Washington Post -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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This book is the official catalog for the traveling show in honor of Ansel Adams' birth in 1902 that opened in San Francisco and traveled through Chicago, London, Berlin, and Los Angeles before closing in New York late in 2003. I cannot remember a finer catalog for a photography show.

The show's images were selected by John Szarkowski who is the director emeritus of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In selecting images for the show, he emphasized both what he thought was Ansel Adams' finest work, and his work that looked best in printed form. So the images provide room for an outstanding reproduction, and that's just what the book's publishers have provided.

The edition itself comes linen bound and in a matching linen slip cover. The pages are all of the highest quality heavy cover stock. The tritone printing is exquisite, limited only by the negatives and the current state-of-the art in printing. There is also a superb design. The works are sized to be in proportion to each others' negatives. Where images play off of each other, they are placed next to one another or on facing pages. Where that sort of conversation isn't possible, you see one image per two open pages. Unlike most of Ansel Adams' books, this one is on oversized pages so that there is the possibility of seeing the details as Mr. Adams intended them to be seen.

A nice bonus is that each book comes with a frameable tritone 13" X 11" print on heavy cover stock with fascimile signature by Ansel Adams and a blind embossed seal of the Ansel Adams Trust of Aspens, Dawn, Dolores River Canyon, Colorado, 1937 . . . which is also reproduced in the book. It is the image of aspens that you probably know best from Mr. Adams' work.
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