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Taschen America Llc
From Library Journal
Atget's impressive body of work is permanently linked to the city of Paris. Originally, he photographed models for artists who then painted from the photos, and when Paris was being modernized he was paid to record the buildings of Old Paris. While the artist insisted that the photographs were just "documents," his work gradually became centered on the social life of Paris's lower classes. Throughout his career, he eschewed the so-called landmarks of Paris in favor of coal carts, peddlers, and deadpan images of building facades from every arrondissement. For decades, he has been admired by fellow artists; Man Ray collected his work, and Berenice Abbot bought and preserved much of her Atget collection and donated the archive to MOMA. And Atget has had immeasurable influence on contemporary photography, from Bernd and Hilla Becher's industrial scenes to Thomas Ruff's portraits. This latest volume in Taschen's series of large-format monographs presenting the work of eminent photographers successfully conveys the quality and range of Atget's work. As always, the reproductions are very fine, and the biographical essay, if not revelatory, succeeds in introducing the artist to a new audience. Atget the Pioneer, produced to accompany an exhibition traveling from Paris to New York later this year, picks up where the previous volume leaves off. The authors, conservators at the Biblioth que Nationale, trace Atget's influence by juxtaposing his works with those of other luminaries, from August Sander and Walker Evans to Bill Brandt and Lee Friedlander. The three essays here successfully convey Atget's range of influence, and some of the sepia-toned images are breathtaking. In its own way, each of these books complements John Szarkowski's recent Atget (LJ 9/15/00), which delved into analysis of individual pictures. Libraries that can afford all three would have an excellent and complete record of the man's work. Small libraries could make do with Taschen's affordable volume, with Atget the Pioneer a close second choice.DDouglas McClemont, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Picture Magazine, January 2001
This new collection of Atget's photographs shows his systematic, beautifully detailed work in all its splendor."
Eugene Atget (1857-1927) took over 10,000 photographs of the trades, architecture and street scenes of Paris and its surroundings. Atget modestly called his images 'documents for artists'. Yet since his death, his reputation has grown into that of one of the world's pre-eminent photographers.
Other artists in this series include: Mathew Brady, Wynn Bullock, Julia Margaret Cameron, Joan Fontcuberta, David Goldblatt, Nan Goldin, Graciela Iturbide, Andre Kertesz, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Meyerowitz, Boris Mikhailov, Lisette Model, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Eadweard Muybridge, Eugene Richards, W. Eugene Smith, Shomei Tomatsu, Joel-Peter Witkin --This text refers to the Paperback edition.