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Steiner, Ralph (Artist/Photographer) & Van Dyke, Willard (Contributor). RALPH STEINER: A POINT OF VIEW. Middletown, CN: Wesleyan University Press, 1978. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 144 pages. Fine.

Retrospective collection of photographs. One of the most beautiful and valuable photography books of the 20th century. Deluxe Slipcased Edition of 20 numbered and signed copies. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Limited Edition of 100 copies and the regular trade edition. There is no ISBN. The Deluxe Edition is now rare. An austerely elegant production by Ralph Steiner: Oversize-volume format. Gray cloth boards with metallic-silver titles embossed on the spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Ralph Steiner. Essay by Willard Van Dyke. 10 X 8 inch silver-gelatin print. Matching gray hard board slipcase. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. The reproduction quality is exemplary in every respect. Without DJ, as issued. Presents, in its ultimate collectible format, Ralph Steiner's "A Point of View". His "summing-up": Selected, sequenced, and annotated by the photographer himself. Steiner is a rarity among photographers: His prose is as eloquent as his images. A seminal - but unpretentious and therefore underrated - multi-media artist, Steiner engagingly recounts his career in photography, film, and the arts. What a life: Born in 1899, Steiner is a key figure of the "threshold" moment in photographic history, namely its move away from its Pictorialist past, when it consciously mimicked painting, toward its alignment with Modernism, when it found its own voice. As such, he is rightly seen as the critical link between Alfred Stieglitz and Walker Evans, who credited him as a major influence. When commentators refer to his images as having "unusual angles", "weird subject matter", and "feverish abstractions" (which anticipate Aaron Siskind), they mean Modernist aesthetics in practice. The single greatest photographic genre, "street photography", which Steiner helped jumpstart, is inherently and indeed purely "photographic" (as opposed to "painterly"). A major Photo League figure, Steiner is also closely identified with film: He began by making gravure plates for Robert Flaherty's "Nanook of The North". His first film, "H2O", a poetic evocation of water, is now considered a classic. Together with Paul Strand, he was the cinematographer of the definitive documentary on The Great Depression, "The Plow That Broke The Plains". Steiner co-directed "The City" with Willard Van Dyke (who has contributed a loving homage-essay), famously scored by Aaron Copland. "His pictures glowed with the juxtaposition of rich blacks and luminous whites" (Willard Van Dyke). An absolute "must-have" title for Ralph Steiner collectors. This is a copy of the Deluxe Slipcased Edition, indicated/numbered as such in black ink-pen on the front free endpaper by the artist/photographer: "5/20 Milwaukee Center For Photography Limited Edition". It is very prominently and beautifully signed and dated (in the year of publication) in black ink-pen by the photographer: "Ralph Steiner February 8th, 1978 (my 79th birthday) ". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. He also drew a lovely self-portrait, "Man With Camera", beside his birthday signature. This comes with a 10 X 8 inch silver-gelatin print (reproduced on Page 52) that is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed and annotated in pencil on verso by the photographer. This title is a great photography book. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the Deluxe Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Should NOT be confused with the Limited Edition of 100 copies and the regular trade edition. A rare signed copy thus. 100 plates, 1 original silver-gelatin print. One of the greatest artist/photographers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. . $2000.00

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