Photobooks of 2019: Todd Hido

The Pillar

Photobooks of 2019: Todd Hido


L’inventaire Infini by Sébastien Lifshitz
L’inventaire Infini is a true find for me as I long for the days when I am introduced to somebody’s work that I have never even heard of. And the irony here is that this is a very famous artist and it is a catalogue from an exhibition from the Pompidou. Sébastien Lifshitz is a director and the photos here are from his personal collections of found and anonymous and strange photographs from many different places. The collection of them is, as the title says, seems to yield endless adventure.

Femmes A L’ouvre, Femmes A L’éppreuve
The category of photobooks about photobooks is one of my most favorite areas these days. And I have actively collected practically everything I’ve found about photobooks all the way back to Fotographía Pública by Horacio Fernández which was published back in the year 2000. It is hard to believe that we have been on a 20 year craze of photo book mania. And yet, there are treasures like this one that focuses on Eve Arnold, Abigail Heyman, and Susan Meiselas.

Photobook Belge 1854
The beauty of this photobook mania is that almost every country now has a dedicated publication to their own history of photography book making. The curators at Fomu put together a stellar publication and exhibition on the art that I love the most.

Errors of Possession by Garrett Grove
This is another book by an artist that was not on my radar but has created a very solid and provocative sequence of images that are captivating and at times obscure.

L’essence du visible by Wright Morris
The power of a well made photobook is brought to the fore here as the folks at Editions Xavier Barral and the Foundation Henri Cartier Bresson have put together an incredibly tight and beautifully designed small scale catalogue that thankfully contains equal white space to image space. This very formal design brings out an electricity in what you would think might be old and tired images from Wright Morris, one of the lesser known American documentary photographers. This book is a powerful example of what happens when a younger generation revisits classics and ends up with something incredibly fresh.

The Pillar by Stephen Gill
One of my favorite photobooks of the year is The Pillar by Stephen Gill. It is entirely made up of photographs remotely from a camera that is fixed in a single position without variation that is triggered by birds landing on that pillar in the middle of a field, creating and amazing procession of curiosity. What happens on this pillar is related to one of the reasons this is one of my favorite books at the moment is after being thoroughly spent from watching the political disaster unfold in America on a daily basis on the television in my kitchen, I decided one day to find something more positive to saturate myself with and I stumbled across a nature show on the BBC. What a pleasure it was to take in information about wonderment in this world, and as simple as it sounds I feel like I really needed to find that station and that nature show when I did. Gill’s book affirms that the natural world is far more interesting than all the nonsense occurring in our world. Also, don’t miss his previous book called Night Procession, another book with similar parameters to this.

Unsettled City by M.H. Frøslev
Unsettled City is one of those books that I picked up and in about four or five flips of the page knew that I needed to have. I believe it is the first publication by Frøslev and he has done a wonderful job editing and sequencing and bringing out the darkness and all the fun that happens behind closed doors in what appears to often be cold and dark nights.

Photo Brut – Collection Bruno Decharme & compagnie
I wasn’t able to make it to Arles this year, however, a catalogue I picked up from one of the exhibitions is yet another super curious grouping of really interesting images that I was unfamiliar with that are all from the collection of Bruno Decharme & compagnie. It looks like an obsessive collection of images from very obsessive artists. I am incredibly happy to add this to my library.

Positive Disintegration by Tania Franco Klein
A couple years ago Tania gave me a little box of postcards she made at an art fair and I was first introduced to her work then. It was already interesting in that form but now to see it flourish within the pages of a finely made photo book is very much worth the price of admission.

Americans Parade by George Georgiou
Georgiou’s book of parades stands as a typology of all the 4th of July parades that I endured in my time growing up in the American Midwest. I know these are recently made pictures but it shows the timelessness of Americans gathering out on the curb for an enduring tradition.

Todd Hido photographer and collector, has published more than a dozen monographs. The 20th Anniversary Edition of his classic book House Hunting was released this fall.

Images: top – The Pillar by Stephen Gill, below – Americans Parade by George Georgiou, Positive Disintegration by Tania Franco Klein

Americans Parade

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