AN “EXEMPLARY EXERCISE IN THE HUMANIST SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY MODE”
(DAVIDSON, Bruce) GASSER, Manuel and Obermüller, Klara, editors. DU. New York—100th Street. (Zurich: Conzett & Huber), March 1969. Large quarto, original stiff photographic wrappers. $950.
First publication of images from Davidson’s powerful view of Harlem, preceding his first photobook East 100th Street by one year, scarce issue of the German magazine Du, with 60 rich, full-page photogravures—including seven gatefolds not present in the book and cover image.
In March 1969, the German magazine Du dedicated an entire issue to this first publication of 60 evocative images from Bruce Davidson’s photographic study of Harlem—preceding by one year his first photobook East 100th Street (1970). Defying a practice of using small or medium format cameras in documentary work, Davidson had spent over two years photographing Harlem’s East 100th Street with a bulky large-format camera that came “to be part of the block’s daily life… [and] opened up new vistas” that fundamentally reshaped documentary photography (Roth, 196). Printed here in large, splendid photogravure plates (unlike the book’s duotones, and larger in size than what appeared in the book) and featuring seven two-page gatefolds not present in the eventual book, Davidson’s work has proven a key influence on a generation and an unforgettable, “exemplary exercise in the humanist social documentary mode” (Parr & Badger II:18). With essay by Davidson in German. As issued without dust jacket.
A fine copy.