DIANE ARBUS: In The Beginning 1956-1962


DIANE ARBUS: In The Beginning 1956-1962

JEFF L. ROSENHEIM    Book Number: 88438    Product format: Hardback

One of the most iconic of 20th century photographers, Diane Arbus went into the streets, markets, circuses and bars to immortalise people on the margins of society with her trademark grainy black and white portraits. This big and gorgeous book, printed on thick vellum paper, reproduces over 100 of her early 35mm studies, letting us share the artist's eye as she develops her humane, life-affirming style. Only available since 2007 when the Arbus archive came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these early photos are now prized as much as the later work. The 1956 study "Woman in a black hat with a pearl choker" is a magnificently enigmatic study of a woman glancing sideways, assured but wary. "Santa Claus on the street with a lady passing" shows the huge, awkward, absurdly dressed Santa being overtaken by an elderly woman who is carefully not looking at him. "Man with a curious baby on the subway" is a delight, with the formally dressed man hugging a baby close, while the baby is struggling to look round at the camara. "Kid in a hooded jacket aiming a gun" prompts us to ask questions. The kid is maybe five years old, looking tough. Will he grow up to aim a real gun? "Woman with a crescent rhinestone brooch" wears a strappy top, a jaundiced expression - and the sparkler. A non-figurative study is the "Mood Meter Machine" in a bar, where you find out if you - or your partner? - is ardent, frigid, excitable, torrid, harmless. An empty snack bar is very evocative, with its garish lighting, stacked crockery on the counter and a lone cup and saucer waiting on a table to be cleared away. The brilliant study of a 42nd Street movie theatre audience is animated by the arc of the projectionist's light sweeping across the auditorium. Every photo a masterpiece. 270pp, sources, notes from the archive. Over 100 superb reproductions. 9½" x 11¼".
Published price: $50
Bibliophile price: £20.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781588395955
Browse this category: Art & Architecture

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