Alec Soth’s Top 10 Photobooks of 2009

You and Me and the Art of Give and Take
by Allen Ruppersberg (Santa Monica Museum of Art)
Holy information overload. One of the coolest exhibition catalogues I’ve ever seen.

Greater Atlanta
by Mark Steinmetz (Nazraeli)
Steinmetz goes 3 for 3. Now I just wish Nazraeli would make a nice box to protect those sensitive white covers.

l by Raimond Wouda (Nazraeli)
A Technicolor teenage riot.

The * As Error
by Shannon Ebner and Dexter Sinister (LA County Museum)
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right
It’s all right

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry
by Leanne Shapton (FSG)
Categorized as ‘Fiction/Graphic Novel’ by the publisher, this little book seems to have missed the photo universe entirely. But with hundreds of images by Jason Fulford and Michael Schmelling (who has his own entry on this list), this book should be categorized under ‘Narrative Photography.’

…all the days and nights by Doug Dubois (Aperture)
‘Narrative Photography’ at its finest.

The Plan
by Michael Schmelling (J&L)
If your home is getting cluttered, this book could change your life. But what if your home is getting cluttered with photo books?

Summer Nights, Walking
by Robert Adams (Aperture)
I used to be embarrassed that the 1985 edition was one of my favorite photobooks. The book was almost too sweet and the cover was an 80’s design nightmare. But there is nothing embarrassing about this reprint. Along with the incredible printing and understated cover, Adams has added some tougher pictures to the mix. Breathtaking.

Open See
by Jim Goldberg (Steidl)
Complex Goldbergian discourse on the subject of dislocation.

Protest Photographs
by Chauncey Hare (Steidl)
I haven’t had time to wrap my head around this tome, but it only takes a quick glance to know that this book is a killer.

→Looking for copies of these books? Visit the Photobook Link Page.

9 Replies to “Alec Soth’s Top 10 Photobooks of 2009”

  1. A fine list — it is good to see Chauncey Hare back. Do you know Thomas Roma’s House Calls with William Carlos Williams, a small, perfect book where Roma follows Williams’ house call routes through modern Paterson, NJ ?

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  3. Thanks for tip re: Mark Steinmetz. He was my TA once long ago (in Roma’s class), a really perceptive guy and great photographer. I have a book he did on trees but didn’t know about these.

  4. Chauncey Hare’s book is crazy good and his photographs really stand the test of time. I wish he would come out of hiding and give us his insight on our world today.

  5. There’s good news, Nora, if by insight you’ll allow for prose and spoken words instead of photographs. Chauncey wrote an introductory essay to his book, and he practices therapy in San Francisco. He’s not so much hiding as doing something else.

  6. Happy to see you mention Leanne Shapton’s ‘Important Artifacts…” book. I thought that was one of the more inventive ideas put to paper in a long while. If you look in some of the photos of friends you might see young photographers like Jason F. and Gus Powell.

    I heard something about this might be made into a film too…

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