Title: RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD: THE INTERNATIONAL ...
Publisher: Gottingen, Germany / New York City, New York: Steidl Publishers/International Center For Photography (ICP), 2004
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: None, As Issued
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 300 pages. Published in 2004. Exhibition Monograph. Now considered a contemporary photography classic. The first and only edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. An austerely elegant production by Steidl Design and Claas Moller: Regular-sized volume format. White cloth boards with photographic reproduction pasted on recessed center and black titles embossed on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Curated with an Introduction, Essay, and Interview by Guy Davenport and Cynthia Young. Chronology, Selected Bibliography, and Exhibition History appended at the end. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Gottingen, Germany to the highest standards. In publisher's original shrinkwrap. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition held at the International Center for Photography New York from December 10, 2004 through February 27, 2005. Presents "Ralph Eugene Meatyard". The most comprehensive selection of the photographer's work thus far. The book acknowledges its debt to two previous monographs: "An American Visionary" and "The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater and Other Figurative Photographs". "They have been called visionary, surrealistic, and meditative. Fascinated by the uncanniness of ordinary life, Meatyard made mysterious, staged images using his friends and family, often involving masks and abandoned spaces, that are familiar and disturbing at the same time. Highly original and deeply emotional, Meatyard's Expressionist style and use of staged scenes foreshadow the work of many contemporary artists such as Francesca Woodman, Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann, and Justine Kurland. They suggest the complex emotions associated with childhood, intimacy, loss, and destruction. Meatyard's engagement with photographing people is evident in a number of portraits he made of a circle of local writers with whom he developed great friendships: Guy Davenport, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, James Baker Hall, and Jonathan Greene. These friends not only provided intellectual inspiration and support but often acted as collaborators in other projects" (ICP). An absolute "must-have" title for Ralph Eugene Meatyard collectors. This title is now collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online, is still in the publisher's original shrinkwrap, and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Please note: Almost all other copies available online are either remainder-marked or have major flaws ("light shelfwear") because the cloth boards are very easily soiled. A rare copy thus. 220 tritone plates. Ralph Eugene Meatyard's "The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater" was selected as one of the greatest photography books in "The Photobook" and by The Hasselblad Center. One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. A flawless collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RALPH EUGENE MEATYARD TITLE IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 3865210651. Bookseller Inventory # 15442
Synopsis: The photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard defy convention: they have been called visionary, surrealistic, and meditative. Whatever the label, these evocative images of friends and family and the natural world around his home illustrate a delicate psychology of human interaction. Meatyard was trained as an optician, a profession that he maintained all his life in Lexington, Kentucky; he bought a camera in 1950 for the sole purpose of photographing his first-born son. But shortly thereafter, he joined the Lexington Camera Club and developed a friendship with his photography teacher Van Deren Coke, as well as a circle of local writers and photographers, including Guy Davenport, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, Jonathan Williams, and Minor White. Family and friends freely participated in Meatyard's staged and mysterious images, which often involve masks and abandoned spaces, and obliquely reference social, political, and cultural issues. A key subject in Meatyard's work is the natural environment, which is featured in his Light on Water series, in which long exposures seem to create calligraphic texts, and his No-Focus series, in which he deliberately photographed stems and twigs out of focus. In one of his last series titled Motion-Sound, the pictures were made by moving the camera gently, creating multiple exposures of the woodland scenes that suggest abstract sound patterns. The book accompanies an exhibition organized by ICP Assistant Curator Cynthia Young with acclaimed writer and Meatyard friend, Guy Davenport, who also wrote the text. Also included are the exhibition history, chronology, and bibliography.
About the Author: "Ralph Eugene Meatyard was born in 1925 and lived in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was part of a circle that included the likes of Thomas Merton, Guy Davenport, and Jonathan Williams. Major influences on his photographic work were Aaron Siskind and Minor White, with whom he studied. He died in 1972."
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