Songbook by Alec Soth


I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new book and exhibition Songbook debuting at Sean Kelly Gallery in NYC (Jan. 29th, 2015), Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco (Feb. 5th, 2015), Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis (Feb. 20th, 2015) and Loock Galerie in Berlin (April 30th).

Songbook is published by MACK (LBM is not selling copies). I’ll be doing my first book signing at Sean Kelly Gallery on Saturday, January 31st at 3pm.

– Alec Soth



NY Art Book Fair Wrap Up

We had an excellent time at the NY Book Fair this year. Thanks to everyone who was able to come by and give us some love and also thank you to all of the wonderful people who showed us a good time while we were in the city.

If you werent able to pick up our new books you can get them here!

See you soon!

Thanks again,

Charlie, Alec, Carrie, Hans & the rest of the LBM team.

Top 10+ Photobooks of 2010 by Alec Soth

The Mushroom Collector by Jason Fulford
When this book arrived, I saw the cover and was afraid to look inside. I flipped through the first few pages and then put it down. I didn’t look at it again for days. It was everything I’d been waiting for and almost too much to handle. Now, after living with it for weeks, I can finally set aside my insane jealousy and proclaim this not only my top book of the year, but one of my all-time favorites.

La Carte d’apres Nature edited by Thomas Demand
It is rare that an exhibition catalog becomes a work of art in and of itself (see You and Me and the Art of Give and Take by Allen Ruppersberg on my 2009 list).  Based on René Magritte’s short-lived magazine of the same name, La Carte d’apres Nature is a dreamy, free-associative ramble through Monaco, Surrealism, Botanical Gardens, Luigi Ghirri’s eye and Thomas Demand’s brain. With a catalog this good, who needs the exhibition?

Family by Chris Verene
One of the masters of combining text and image, Verene’s book feels like an invitation to Galesburg, Illinois for a family slideshow. Funny, tragic and tender.

Story / No Story by Tobias Zielony
A floating, nocturnal tour around the globe of teenagers waiting for something to happen. Story / No Story perfectly captures the romantic ennui of the end of youth.

3 or 4 books by John Gossage: The Pond, The Thirty-Two Inch Ruler / Map Of BabylonHERE
What a treat to follow Gossage’s labyrinthine eye from his 25-year-old masterpiece to his utterly vital current publications. I can’t choose just one.

Fiume by Guido Guidi
If I were to make a list of my top 10 magazines of the year, #1 would be Fantom, the excellent new Italian photo magazine (or at least it would be tied for #1 with Foam, but I digress). Fatom is also in the book business. Their second offering (after an excellent Takashi Homma book) is a modest little softcover about a modest little river near Guidi’s hometown. Like John Gossage, Guidi is a photographer’s photographer who looks at the world with tremendous subtlety. Now if only someone would make a Guidi book with wide US distribution.

Yutaka Takanashi, Photography 1965-7
4 & Books on Books #6 Yutaka Takanashi: Toshi-e
A double-punch knockout of Yutaka Takanashi for photobook connoisseurs. These two books are the perfect combination of craftsmanship and scholarship.

The Sound of Two Songs by Mark Power
Just when I’m in the deepest depths of large-format, color-photo fatigue, along comes Mark Power to save the day. Power’s pictures are so good that they almost make me want to haul the 8×10 out of storage.

Picture Book by Hannah Höch
During 2010 most of my book collecting budget went toward photographically illustrated children’s books. Since most of these books are over fifty years old, they tend to be pricey. So I was enormously happy to find this inexpensive facsimile of Höch’s fantastic children’s book.

Playing Borders by Anouk Kruithof
A mixture of photos, pamplets, poscards and posters, Playing Borders is always on the verge of falling apart – as is its subject: an almost empty, generic office space in which office workers create performances and temporary sculptures. Unfortunately I recently learned that Playing Borders came out in 2009 (it took awhile for it to find its way to Minnesota). But if you want a good photobook by a young Dutch artist dealing with generic office spaces from 2010, I can also recommend How Terry Likes his Coffee by Florian van Roekel (see my list of self-published books below).

Ten self-published photo books
It is important to highlight the incredibly vibrant world of self-publishing in 2010. What I love about much of this work is that it is less about the aspiration for profundity than it is about raw energy. To use the music analogy, these books are more like live shows than albums. As such, much of this work rejects the world of traditional commerce, book awards and top 10 lists. Nonetheless, here are ten that caught my eye this year:

Procrastinations by Jack Webb
720 (Two Times Around) by Andrew Phelps
Sketches by Viviane Sassen
Repose by Charlotte Dumas
Desperate Cars by Sébastien Girard
Grown Down by Lindsey Castillo & Tuomas Korpijaakko
As It Is? In Four Chapters by Harvey Benge
Since July by Eric Ruby
How Terry likes his Coffee by Florian van Roekel
Getting to know my husband’s cock by Ellen Jong

But like all of this list-making business, it just comes down to personal taste. I encourage people to visit some of the resources out there for finding those thrilling little gems that speak to their own experience:

Happy Hunting,

PS. Only a couple of year end lists have been published so far (5b4Sean O’Hagan/Guardian) – I’d love to hear your favorites.

Book Review Update

Thanks for all of the excellent feedback to my recent Open Letter to the New York Times Book Review. As I mentioned in my post, the one big chance for art books is the annual Holiday Book Review. Today it arrived. As usual, illustrators did pretty well. There was the obligatory review of a New Yorker illustrator’s book (Maira Kalman…again!), Comics (three reviews by Douglas Wolk), Graphic Novels (a review of Duncan the Wonder Dog), Drawing (a review of Picture This by Drawn Quarterly), and yet another Comics review (Doonesbuy at 40).

My pulse quickened as I looked at the double-page Visuals section. But just like last year, typography owned this section (Manual of Typography, Retrofonts, Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide, Modern British posters).

How did photography fare? There were the usual travel coffee table photo books (New York: Portrait of A City, Yvon’s Paris). But then, tucked into a section called Curiosities was, gasp, an actual review of an authored photography book: Lost Souls by Lena Herzog. The most surprising thing to me is that I hadn’t heard of either the book or the photographer. I went to Herzog’s website but couldn’t find much more about the book. But I did learn on her Wikipedia page that she’s married to my favorite living filmmaker: Werner Herzog. I don’t want to believe that this is the reason her book was reviewed. So I’m curious if anyone else has seen the book. If so, what do you think of it?

TBW Books

Exciting news from Oakland! Paul Schiek and his lovely home brewed publishing company, TBW Books, is releasing its third subscription series with books by Mark Steinmetz, Elaine Stocki, Dru Donovan and Katy Grannan. I was proud to have my book published in the 2nd series and can’t wait to get this new quartet.

Visit TBW and also check out their new blog.

The Auckland Project

In a recent interview in the Telegraph, I was asked whom I’d like to work with? My answer was as follows:

I’m a terrible collaborator. I’ve worked with someone I’ve idolized as a young photographer – John Gossage. I found the process nerve-wracking. So if I was going to collaborate again, I might have to wait a couple of decades until someone idolizes me.

Working alongside John was stressful, but it was also life changing. After learning so much from this master of the medium (and friend), I began the process of dismantling my career. My experience in Auckland got me away from large-format work and was the precursor for projects like ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in Georgia and ‘The Loneliest Man in Missouri’.

I’m happy to announce that this work is now being published by Radius Books. Entitled The Auckland Project, the result is something quite unique. My contribution is a half-book, half-poster creation that functions as a dialog with John’s virtuosic book. The project is also being presented as a special edition with prints by Gossage and myself.

More info here.

Location – Volume Two – Adam Caillier + Michael Mott

Location is a quarterly publication of limited edition artists’ books featuring idea-based work in an array of two-dimensional media. Essentially a gallery between two hard covers, Location focuses on book-form installations and group exhibitions in print. Our mission is to collaborate with visual artists to produce new work specifically suited to a page-based format. Location promotes artists to a broader audience through a portable medium while providing a book-based experience of contemporary art.

For its second volume, Location books features a collaborative experiment between artists Adam Caillier and Michael Mott, two “strangers with complimentary abilities and a malleable set of expectations” who employ a film camera as an extended-space-scanner to compose a cryptic series of abstract photographs specifically catered to serial pages.

Location – Volume Two
Work by Adam Caillier and Michael Mott

What: Opening reception, book sale and signing with the artists (Caillier and Mott)
Where: 1618 Central Ave NE, Suite 227, Minneapolis, MN 55413
When: Saturday, August 14th, 2010, 7:00pm – 10:00pm

For more information or for higher resolution images please visit here

Photobook Library

The Indie Photobook Library was founded in 2010 by Larissa Leclair. It is an archive that strives to preserve and showcase self-published photobooks, photobooks independently published and distributed, photography exhibition catalogs, print-on-demand photobooks, artist books, zines, photobooks printed on newsprint, limited edition photobooks, and non-English language photography books to be seen in person through traveling exhibitions and as a non-circulating public library. Having a specific collection dedicated to these kinds of books allows for the development of future discourse on trends in self-publishing, the ability to reflect and compare books in the collection, and for scholarly research to be conducted in years, decades, and centuries to come. The Indie Photobook Library has an open and ongoing submission policy. Books can be donated by the artist, indie publisher, or private collector.

info about submissions and more here

for news and more, follow on the Indie Photobook Library on facebook here