“SLY, OFTEN IRONIC, FREQUENTLY MYSTERIOUS”: FIRST EDITION OF AMERICAN PROSPECTS, SIGNED BY JOEL STERNFELD
STERNFELD, Joel. American Prospects. New York: Times Books (1987). Oblong quarto, original gray cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $2500.
First edition of Sternfeld’s acclaimed first photobook, signed by him on the title page, a “cogent and persuasive view of America, told with affection” (Parr & Badger), with 55 color plates.
Upon winning a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1978, Joel Sternfeld “set out with an old-fashioned Wista large-format camera… and the desire to find beauty in the contemporary landscape” (New York Times). His eight-year sojourn across the country “produced his first and best-known book, American Prospects… Each picture suggests an arcane drama being played out… [narratively] suggestive, sly, often ironic, frequently mysterious, making American Prospects… a cogent and persuasive view of America, told with affection but also conveying the feeling that something is not quite right” (Parr & Badger II:34). With 55 compelling images that “are often collisions of the magnificent and the mundane… American Prospects brought a new respect for color photography and a deeper understanding of American complexity” (Roth, 260). One of “25 Top Photo Books” named by The Village Voice in 2005. Introduction by noted critic Andy Grundberg. First edition; published in conjunction with a 1987 exhibit at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Open Book, 338. Owner inscription.
A fine copy, scarce signed.