Title: BILL HENSON: LUX ET NOX - Rare Fine Copy of ...
Publisher: Zurich, Switzerland: Scalo Publishers, 2002
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 200 pages. Published in 2002. Landmark collection of nude-cum-landscape color photographs. One of the greatest art photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. A stunningly beautiful production by Bill Henson, Martin Jaeggi, and Walter Keller: Oversize-volume format. Black cloth boards with black titles embossed on spine, as issued. Photographs by Bill Henson. Contribution by the great avant-garde American writer Dennis Cooper. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper by Steidl in Gottingen, Germany to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents Bill Henson's "Lux Et Nox". A sequence of photographs of naked couples making love brilliantly juxtaposed with urban nighttime landscapes (the "lux"/light of the title refers to photography itself). The metaphor of night - for sex and intimacy as well as loneliness and desolation - endows the sequence with a "life-and-death" significance that is very rarely seen in photography. You will not restlessly flip through but carefully linger over each page (the book's design also makes sure that you do). The sequence (which is perfect) is poetic rather than "playful", and its contemplative effect is powerful as such. "Bill Henson is a passionate and visionary explorer of twilight zones, of the ambiguous spaces that exist between day and night, nature and civilization, youth and adulthood, male and female. Continue the tradition of Romantic literature and painting in our post-Industrial Age. The rich chiaroscuro, the oscillating light, and the masterful composition of his photographs map enigmatic states that escape rationalism's iron grip" (Dennis Cooper). Well, yes, Bill Henson's night-universe is more mythical than real. But there is nothing polemical much less political ("reason versus emotion", "Nature versus Culture") about his art, not in the terms that Dennis Cooper proposes. That Henson used perfectly ordinary-looking, "relatable" kid-models (instead of Miss Universe and Physique types) makes his self-created universe more, not less, otherworldly, unattainable, and desirable. What do poets (and psychologists) say about desire? We desire what we see everyday. For better or for worse, some of these things are the products of the post-industrial, global consumerism that Cooper opposes. Bill Henson's work is in the Permanent Collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale Paris, the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, and the Museum of Modern Art. Together with Trent Parke, he has put Australia on the map as a vital center of art photography, that is to say, of the most serious and ambitious contemporary art itself, which has become more, not less, photographically-based. An absolute "must-have" title for Bill Henson collectors. This title is a great art photography book. This is one of very few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online command as much as $2500 even though many of them have major flaws. A rare copy thus. 125 color plates. One of the greatest artist/photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO TRENT PARKE TITLE IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 3908247551. Bookseller Inventory # 15411
Synopsis: Australian artist Bill Henson is a passionate and visionary explorer of twilight zones, of the ambiguous spaces that exist between day and night, nature and civilization, youth and adulthood, male and female. His photographs of landscapes at dusk, of the industrial no-man's land that lies on the outskirts of our cities, and of androgynous girls and boys adrift in the nocturnal turmoil of adolescence are painterly tableaux that continue the tradition of romantic literature and painting in our post-industrial age. The rich chiaroscuro, the oscillating light, and the masterful composition of his photographs map enigmatic states that escape rationalism's iron grip, providing a much-needed antidote to a culture that increasingly looses itself in a numbing vortex of blinking screens and glittering surfaces.
Were it not for Henson's primary, almost devotional need to elicit empathy for his troubled human subjects, there's a feeling that nothing would prevent the black in his photographs from completely absorbing his attention and extinguishing his work. --Dennis Cooper
Hardcover, 16.5 x 12 inches, 192 pages, 125 color images.
About the Author: Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1955, Bill Henson's photographs have been seen in major international exhibitions and survey shows over the past 25 years. Venues include the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, the Venice Biennale, most Australian museums, and gallery shows in the United States. Henson lives and works in Sydney.
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