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Diane Arbus


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Book Description

Sept. 25 1995
A collection of photographs from the celebrated American photographer Diane Arbus, bringing together for the first time the work she produced during the final few years of her life. Born in New York in 1923, Arbus was an influential photographer in the 1960's. Her originality, both of subject matter and technological approach, attracted acclaim before her death in 1971 aged 48. There was a posthumous retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1972. With an afterword written by the photographer's daughter, Doon Arbus, this is the third volume of Arbus' work and the only one devoted to a single subject. The 52 photographs were taken at residences for the mentally retarded between 1969 and 1971.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (Sept. 25 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500541981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500541982
  • Product Dimensions: 36.8 x 29 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg

Product Description

From Library Journal

"The photographs were taken at residences for the mentally retarded between 1966 and 1971, places she kept going back to every few months or so, to picnics, dances, on Halloween," writes Arbus's daughter in the short afterword here. "This is simply information. What is in the pictures lies closer to home." In fact, what is revealed on page after page hits almost too close to home. Best known for her documentary yet wholly empathetic photographs of the human oddities from which polite society averts its gaze, Arbus reached the limits of the medium's possibilities for both truth-telling and identification in this series made in the years and months before her suicide. In those times, anyone choosing the severely handicapped as subject matter would risk accusations of exploitation, but this collection is immune: not simply because the subjects are clearly willing participants, giddily posing for the rare opportunity, but also because the product utterly lacks a voyeuristic dimension. There is no visible attempt to compose an art or to layer the images with the artist's interpretation. These are simply some of the most disturbingly honest photographs ever taken. Essential for all photography collections.?Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In an afterword to this remarkable gathering of her mother's photographs, Doon Arbus insists that the intent of these works "wasn't . . . about who or what she saw, but about the experience of seeing it and the power of her photographs to make that experience visible." Between 1969 and 1971, Diane Arbus focused her lens on residents in homes for the mentally retarded. Her patient eye searches out the individual in an isolated space and time, for instance, a little girl who squeezes a Styrofoam cup in her hands while holding under her arm a shoe box bearing the brand name "Child Life," providing ironic contrast with her face, which looks, somehow, too old. Doon Arbus writes that her mother's photographs remind "us that facts lie at the root of what we're looking at," yet it takes us a moment to realize or even come to terms with those facts. These haunting images, jarring yet magical, arrive from the past to give a lyrical poke at our collective subconscious, to wake us up--and remind us to look. Raul Nino --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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