“AN ELOQUENCE WHOSE FOUNDATION IS HONESTY”: DARK LIGHT, SIGNED BY MICHAEL MARTONE
MARTONE, Michael. Dark Light. (New York): Lustrum, (1973). Large quarto, original stiff photographic wrappers. $650.
First edition of Martone’s first book, one of the earliest productions of Ralph Gibson’s influential Lustrum Press, signed by Martone on the title page, with 50 black-and-white photogravure plates (including cover images).
The haunting images in Dark Light present a dramatic “departure from Martone’s previous work… evidently autobiographical, they bespeak a painful vulnerability; yet, in doing so, they gain an eloquence whose foundation is honesty” (New York Times). Dark Light was notably one of the first photobooks issued by the small but influential “Lustrum Press, founded by the photographer Ralph Gibson… and set up in a way that allowed photographers to have control over their own photobooks.” A pioneering force behind the first books of Larry Clark, Daniel Seymour, Gibson himself, and this inaugural work by Martone, “much of Lustrum’s list, thanks to Gibson’s own proclivities, was firmly in the personal documentary, stream-of-consciousness mode” (Parr & Badger II:12; I:237). First edition, published in wrappers only; as issued without dust jacket.
Images fine, lightest toning to edges of fragile, about-fine wrappers. A scarce signed copy, in about-fine condition.