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Smalley, Luke. LUKE SMALLEY: GYMNASIUM. Santa Fe, NM: Twin Palms Publishing, 2001. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 96 pages. As New/As New.

The photographer's breakthrough debut collection of black-and-white photographs. Now considered a contemporary art photography classic. Limited Edition of 4000 copies. An impeccably elegant production by Jack Woody: Oversize-volume format. Photographs and text by Luke Smalley. Pale gray cloth boards with black titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Printed in gravure on thick coated stock paper to the highest standards. In lovely wraparound pictorial DJ with titles on the spine, as issued. The DJ utilizes the "Bullhorn" Variant image, which is much more scarce than the "Rowing" Variant. Presents photographs of men engaging in various forms of athletic, gymnastic, and workout activities, using antique or antique-reproduction instruments, following the old rules of the game and developing their bodies in a natural, supple way. Discovered by the photographer in small Pennsylvania towns and photographed by him over a ten-year period, the subjects go about their routines apparently oblivious to the camera. In the pictures where they are clearly posing before Smalley's camera, the influence of August Sander is unmistakable: These photographs are austere-looking and in straightforward "documentary" style, a look that Bruce Weber has also shrewdly appropriated for some of his work to great effect. Almost all of the models are naturally good-looking but do not look like fashion- or commercial-model types. They have lean and sinewy bodies, which developed over time through athletics rather than a self-conscious body-building regimen. In a contemporary photographic world replete with "in-your-face", massive physiques, the photographer has produced a handsome body of work that holds back and hints at rather than shows off. The result is more appealing and more rewarding. Luke Smalley died under mysterious circumstances on May 17, 2009, prematurely ending a career that was on the verge of mainstream recognition. He was working with his publisher, Jack Woody, on his third collection, "Sunday Drive". A "must-have" title for Luke Smalley collectors. This title is now highly collectible. This is one of extremely few copies of the Limited Edition (with the "Bullhorn" Variant DJ Cover) still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Many copies available online have major flaws and are remainder-marked while those that are in fine condition now command as much as $600. A rare copy thus. 80 sheetfed gravure plates. One of the most brilliant American photographers of our time. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER LUKE SMALLEY TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0944092799. $100.00

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