“GREAT EMOTIONAL FIRE”: SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF HEATH’S DIALOGUE WITH SOLITUDE, 1965, INSCRIBED BY DAVE HEATH
HEATH, Dave. A Dialogue with Solitude. New York: Community Press / Horizon, 1965. Tall quarto, original gray cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $6000.
First edition of Heath’s seminal photobook, inscribed by him on the dedication page, “To Kazuo Okamoto-My best wishes, Dave Heath,” featuring 82 vibrant duotone photographic plates.
Shortly after its publication in 1965, Dave Heath’s Dialogue with Solitude was recognized as one of the decade’s most important photobooks. “Working under the heady influences of Robert Frank, Aaron Siskind and Eugene Smith, Heath forged a style that felt at once intimate and reportorial… Dialogue with Solitude is a period piece that resonates” (Village Voice). “A book that has achieved cult status,” Heath’s photobook is particularly noted for its attempt “to photograph internal emotions… [by investigating] the essential solitude of an individual through a series of sequences” (Parr & Badger II:104). MoMA curator John Szarkowski praised Heath’s luminous images for combining “the freedom and spontaneity of the small-camera approach with a rare formal intensity and precision. His pictures possess stability, simplicity and great emotional fire.” Arranged in ten sequential sections, the work is anchored by “several photos Heath made while serving in Korea in 1953, a year that he describes as his ‘defining moment’ as a photographer” (Village Voice). Extremely scarce first edition; signed copies are rarely seen. Reissued in 2000 in a signed limited box set.
Images clean and bright, very small trace of label removal to front free endpaper; some soiling, chipping mildly affecting spine lettering of scarce unrestored dust jacket. An extremely good copy, very scarce inscribed.