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Misrach, Richard (Photographer) & Sontag, Susan (Contributor). VIOLENT LEGACIES: THREE CANTOS. New York City, NY: Aperture Foundation, 1992. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 93 pages. Fine/Fine. Slight edgewear on back of DJ .

Collection of photographs presented as an Artist Book. One of the greatest art photography books of the last decade of the 20th century. A brilliant production by Richard Misrach and Aperture Foundation: Oversize-volume format in wide oblong shape. Orange cloth boards with titles on cover and spine. Photographs by Richard Misrach. Short story, "The View From The Ark", a mordantly witty allegory, by Susan Sontag. The piece has not appeared in any other published form. Printed on thick coated stock paper by EBS in Verona, Italy to the very highest standards. In pictorial DJ, which shows an extreme close-up of a "found" portrait of the great rock n' roll star, Ray Charles, and titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents one of Richard Misrach's finest achievements in a lifetime of photography that is politically committed and ravishingly beautiful at the same time, demonstrating more than most other living photographers, that political art (which is not the same as documentary-based "concerned photography" of the Magnum Agency/Sebastiao Salgado variety) is alive and well and thriving. In "Violent Legacies", Misrach photographs with telling precision, eloquent use of color, and piercing gaze the detritus left behind in America's great deserts by the atom bomb experiments that eventually led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki The photographs are presented in several parts, carefully orchestrated and modulated, and have the cumulative effect of an elegy. Misrach attains poetic beauty through juxtaposition, a technique that he has mastered over the years: The Utah deadlands and the now-abandoned Wendover Air Base (the secret training and planning site for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings), the mysterious death of livestock and the former nuclear test site in the Nevada desert nearby, images of Playboy Magazines and those same images riddled with bullet holes because they were used for target practice on the nuclear test site. Political art, at least as Richard Misrach has practiced it, deserves some explanation because it is easily misunderstood and therefore dismissed: The photographs are beautifully composed and shot with fastidious attention to detail in ironic contrast to the gravity of the subject matter. Misrach does not set out to create a work of art in the conventional sense, but rather uses the same aesthetic methods in order to make the viewer pay attention, to be aware of the destructive impulses implied in the beautiful images. Can they be enjoyed purely as an aesthetic experience? The answer is surely that the only way they should be approached at all is aesthetically, and that the experience inescapably includes, rather than precludes, the political awareness that Misrach achieves through his wordless juxtaposition of images. A "must-have" title for Richard Misrach collectors. This title has been out-of-print for a very long time even though it went into multiple subsequent printings. This is one of very few copies of the true First Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, an unread collector's copy. Every copy of the book has laminate "bubbling" on the DJ, which is a publisher's flaw. The wrinkled look, while unintentional, evokes the crumpled paper debris that the photographer found and photographed in the desert. Collectors looking for the perfect, bubble-free copy will never find it. A rare copy thus. 67 color plates. One of the greatest living American photographers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RICHARD MISRACH TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0893815195. $200.00

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