Photobooks Of Note 2018 - Bryan Schutmaat
It was another prolific year for photobooks, but relative to the vast quantity produced, I must admit I spent time with very few of them. Among the books I managed to see in 2018, these are some I love.
American Winter - Gerry Johansson
I’m mystified that such a simple book can be so deeply moving and that the sad, frigid places Johansson depicts can be so oddly delightful––probably my favorite photobook of the year.
Halfstory Halflife - Raymond Meeks
Please see Gabriela Cendoya-Bergareche’s unique and heartfelt write-up of this mesmerizing book, which sums it up much better than I can.
Past K-Ville is Steinmetz just being Steinmetz, which is fine, because Steinmetz is brilliant––and his archive continues to be a seemingly bottomless treasure trove.
Margins of Excess - Max Pinckers
This book is a substantial thing and tons could be said about it, but in short, Max Pinckers takes on American subject matter with bold ambition––and knocks it out of the park.
Matthew Genitempo is my kindred so I’m biased, but I believe this atmospheric and astonishingly beautiful debut is an achievement of style and lyricism that will not be forgotten.
Straightforward and minimal, this monograph reaffirms the fact that great photos make great photobooks, and Lawson’s photos are decidedly great.
The Moth is a beautiful, understated, and bemusing ballad, performed by a master — soulful poetry I’ll return over and over again.
American Interiors - M.L. Casteel
Casteel’s heart-rendering book of photos that show the inside of US war veterans’ cars is a profound protest statement that brought tears to my eyes.
One Wall a Web - Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa
One Wall a Web is a poignant book by a dedicated artist making inventive use of both photography and text, whose statements about America will be sorely needed as long as violence, exclusion, and injustice continue to afflict this country.
The follow up to Mary Frey’s excellent Reading Raymond Carver is another charming book in the same vein that’s full of vitality, humor, and peculiar beauty.
I admit that this probably shouldn’t be on the list since it’s just photos plucked from Adams’s career that have been retrofitted into a book themed on roads (easy, right?), but I bought it without hesitation and I know I'll open this book with much more frequency and delight than the vast majority of titles on my shelf.
Inspired by Éric Rohmer, Simond brings forth energy, style, and grace in this book of simple yet nuanced and deeply intimate photos of women.
Studio Volta Photo - Sory Sanlé
In addition to the great photos, this book is wonderful as an object, with excellent material choices executed just right––the risograph reproductions, silkscreen cover, spiral binding.
Bryan Schutmaat is a photographer living in Austin, TX. He is one of my favorites. We have never met in real life, which is funny because we are both on the road all the time... but every couple months or so we do a little check in and have a quick chat. One day we are gonna figure out the right project. I can't wait. Till then, check out his latest "Good Goddamn" which was one of my favorite books last year. The second edition of it is even more intense... but i'll let you learn why.