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With Jacques-Louis Daguerre, William Talbot Fox, Etienne Jules-Marey and William Blake as his predecessors, Adam Fuss creates photograms and daguerreotypes that evoke a general poetic and spiritual vision akin to urbanites of the 1800s, people who have lost contact with nature and God. While technically seeking to refine the beginnings of photography, Fuss attempts, in the 100 new works presented here, to record life and death. Colorful spirals created by pendulums lead into great depths; snakes create geometric waves in water; loving pairs of rabbits appear in silhouette; a hunched woman cries; sunflowers sprout withered leaves and broken stems; otherwise placid water bears the concentric marks of water drops; the shadows of silvery children's clothing hover in mid-air; light reflects on birds in flight--and all, for Fuss, mark the simultaneous presence and absence of the corporeal under the title My Ghost.
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This beautiful book is a rare combination: the most exquisite art paired with an essay of equal value. Adam Fuss's hauntingly mysterious photos, made without cameras through a variety of direct means, began to receive a good deal of critical attention around 1990 (when the artist was not yet 30). Eugenia Parry is a learned, experienced, prizewinning author of essays on French calotypes, Joel-Peter Witkin, the monotypes of Edgar Degas, and other subjects. In the same way that Fuss's photographs transcend the natural world while being profoundly enveloped in it, Parry's writing is nuanced and poetic, yet extremely informative. Her long, satisfyingly rich essay here delineates Fuss's childhood, his family life, his earliest impulses toward image-making, his love-hate relationship with cameras, and his working methods, and gently suggests connections between Fuss's experiences and his aesthetic. She incorporates Sufi hymns, English poetry, and a number of pungent quotes from the artist to create a short biography that should stand as a model for evoking the process, internal as well as external, of becoming an artist. The 57 plates of Fuss's lovely, enigmatic images of light, water, birds, babies, tangled roots, sunflowers, children, and stained glass windows are printed on thick white paper. This quiet, perfect book is already a classic. --Peggy MoormanFrom Library Journal:
Fuss has created some of the most exquisite photography of the last two decades. By laying objects directly on photosensitive materials he bypasses the mechanism of the camera and places greater emphasis on process?both bringing the artist closer to his work and sacrificing some of his control. Utilizing this photogram technique pioneered by Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, his works are nonetheless innovative and singular. Taking rabbit entrails, sunflowers, or stained glass windows as the raw materials, the 57 plates reproduced here range from pure abstractions to representational works, from subdued pastel-hued monochromes to multicolored iridescent images, but they are always beautiful. Art historian Parry contributes a cogent essay focusing on the rich metaphors and allusions in the works. An exquisitely produced book from a new small press specializing in photography, this first substantial monograph on Fuss is recommended for all collections with an interest in contemporary photography or history of photography.?Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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