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Photography at first sight
Christmas 2019: the year's best photography books

Christmas 2019: the year’s best photography books

2019 draws to an end with a beautiful selection of books devoted to photography, as inventive in their form as they are fascinating in their content. As the holidays approach, let’s stop and take a look at works that left their mark on this year in photography, and that are perfect for slipping under the tree.

Howling Winds, Vasantha Yogananthan, Chose Commune.

The fifth installment in the series that revisits Vasantha Yogananthan’s Ramayana, Howling Winds takes the form of a solar and wild bestiary, where animals are both embodied and sublimated by color and paint highlights.

Red Harvest, Marguerite Bornhauser, Pursuit.

In a large spiral format, Marguerite Bornhauser’s saturated colors explode and complement each other in a whirlwind of delicate shapes that stimulate all the senses and intensely revive one’s eye.

Pillars of Home, Czilla Klenyánszki, self-published.

Crazy, colorful and cheerful, the work of Hungarian artist Czilla Klenyánszki brings together her series of pillar sculptures created from everyday objects, assembled with levity and irony. An invitation to explore inventiveness and the re-enchantment of everyday life.

Stickybeak, Julie Cockburn, Chose Commune.

Julie Cockburn gives new life to the images she unearths and gleans by reinterpreting them via embroidery. Stickybeak showcases these sewn and reinvented images in a joyful sequence of shapes and colors: festive and explosive!

Héroes del Brillo, Federico Estol, EL MINISTERIO EDICIONES (Uruguay) / HORMIGÖN ARMADO (Bolivia)

Produced collectively by the Uruguayan photographer and a community of shoe shiners in Bolivia, this book, which borrows a lot from comic book conventions, turns these underappreciated workers into superheroes whose power is to make the shoes of La Paz shine. A photographic work of fiction as original as it is noble-minded, since part of the money generated from book sales is donated to the Bolivian shoe shiners.

Jacques Henri Lartigue – Flammarion – € 9.90

Legendary French amateur photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue continues to fascinate and his photographs continue to arouse wonder. This very reasonably priced paperback version covers the photographer’s career in more than 90 images, from the 1911 black and white photo of his little cousin diving to the color photos of women in the 1950s.

Volume 2 – François Halard  – Actes Sud.

The French photographer continues his exploration of artists’ workshops with his inimitable know-how that combines bohemian lifestyle and elegance. An extraordinary journey into the worlds of some of the greatest artists of the 20th century: Mexican architect Luis Barragan, French artist Louise Bourgeois, American singer James Brown, American photographer Saul Leiter and many more.

Midcentury Memories – The Anonymous Project – Taschen and Flammarion.

For two years, the collective The Anonymous Project has given life to thousands of anonymous American slides from the 1950s to the 1980s. A veritable treasure trove that has given rise to several exhibitions and that is the subject of an impressive book published by Taschen, as well as a book published by Flammarion where two writers imagine the stories behind the photos.

By Anne Laurens & Coline Olsina

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