Swedlund, Charles (Photographer) & Weinstein, Michael (Contributor). THE WHOLE SHOW: PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHARLES SWEDLUND. Chicago, IL: Anna Press/Alibi Fine Art Press, 2012. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 62 pages. As New.

Exhibition Catalog. Retrospective collection of button-photographs. The first and only edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a softcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. There is no ISBN. The Exhibition Catalog is now rare. An austerely elegant production by Charles Swedlund: Regular-sized volume format. Pictorial softcovers with black titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Charles Swedlund. Essay by Michael Weinstein. Two Nine-Inch Souvenir Art Cards laid-in. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition of the same name held at the Alibi Fine Art Gallery Chicago in 2012. Presents Charles Swedlund's "The Whole Show". Full-size reproductions of photographs he took and turned into buttons for widespread distribution and use. The images are, of course, round, like irises, and round is, after all, how we first see all images (until painting and then photographs trained our eyes to see them two-dimensionally). As such, tens of thousands of photographs were first (very creatively) circulated and popularized as pictorial buttons, as small as one inch in diameter, collected and packaged in a tin can, and sold or given away (for advertising and promotional purposes). Some buttons were, however, as big as nine inches in diameter, and were called medallions. Swedlund fell in love with the whole idea when he chanced upon them, avidly collected the buttons as historical artifacts (the button-photograph vogue eventually passed, like all popular fads do in America, and the surviving pieces could only be found, if at all, in flea markets), and finally decided to make some of them himself. The Swedlund button-photographs come in two sizes: As one-inch buttons in one can, and as nine-inch medallions. The imagery is anything but "popular", is in fact, erotic, showing his wife Elizabeth nude during and after pregnancy, their daughter Heather, and two other female nude models. Swedlund did not really intend for his buttons to be worn on one's lapel. He did 25 of them in all. After very long absence, they are back in their entirety as The Whole Show. An absolute "must-have" title for Charles Swedlund collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Charles Swedlund. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Laid-in are two pristine Nine-Inch Souvenir Art Cards, which reproduce the Medallion Version. This title is now collectible. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the Exhibition Catalog available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. 26 plates. One of the most brilliant American photographers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CHARLES SWEDLUND TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). $50.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 20, 2019.