PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY OF THIS SCARCE PHOTOBOOK ON AUGUST SANDER, AND BERNHARD AND HILLA BECHER, INSCRIBED TO INFLUENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND PUBLISHER RALPH GIBSON
BECHER, Bernhard, BERND, Hilla and SANDER, August. August Sander, Fotografien von 1906-1945. Bernhard und Hilla Becher, Forografien von 1961-1980. Eine Ausstellung in der Ständigen Vertretung der Bundesrupublik Deutschland. (Köln: Rheinland-Verlag, 1980). Square quarto, original stiff photographic wrappers. $2800.
First edition of this major exhibition catalogue, the first photobook to link in one volume the images of Sander, and of Bernhard and Hilla Becher, a scarce presentation/association copy inscribed on the half title by Hilla Becher to leading photographer/publisher Ralph Gibson, “For Ralph, from Hilla,” with Gibson’s ownership stamp, featuring 60 handsome full-page duotones.
Appearing on the ten-year anniversary of the photobook Anonyme Skulpturen (Anonymous Sculptures), this important exhibition catalogue brings together three giants of 20th-century photography— Bernhard Becher, Hilla Becher and Weimar portraitist August Sander. This is notably the first work to substantially link, in one volume, their seminal contribution to photography, and this copy is especially notable in its inscription by Hilla Becher to photographer/publisher Ralph Gibson, whose Lustrum Press was revolutionary in offering photographers such as Robert Frank “a market for the kind of highly personal photography books that regular publishers usually fear to touch” (New York Times). In this volume’s 60 full-page duotones are 30 plates representing the Bechers’ photography from 1961-1980— images in which “the seeds of European photography’s future were being sown” (Parr & Badger I:193). The outstanding 30 duotones of Sander’s work span 1906-1945, and feature some of his finest portraiture of Germany’s people between the wars, a project that was only partially complete with the appearance of his 1929 monograph Anlitz der Zeit (Face of Our Time)—“a crowning achievement of photography in this century” (New York Times). Essay by Klaus Honnef, preface by Günter Gaus. As issued without dust jacket. Text in German. See Roth, 52, 194; Parr & Badger I:124, 266; Open Book, 84, 258. Ownership stamp of Gibson; light marginalia.
A fine presentation copy with a highly memorable association.