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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.

Retrospective collection of photographs. One of the most brilliant art photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by Richard Misrach and Aperture Foundation: Oversize-volume format. Orange cloth boards with titles on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Richard Misrach. Short story, "The View From The Ark", by Susan Sontag. The piece has not appeared in any other published form. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper by EBS in Verona, Italy to the 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 Richard Misrach's "Violent Legacies: Three Cantos". One of the photographer's most brilliant sequences. In a lifetime of creating photography that is politically committed and beautiful at the same time, Misrach demonstrates, more than many other photographers, that political art (which is not the same thing as documentary "concerned photography" of the Magnum Agency/Sebastiao Salgado kind) is alive and well. Misrach photographs with 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 actual bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The photographs are presented in several parts, and have the cumulative power of elegy. Misrach achieves beauty through wordless juxtaposition, a technique that he has mastered over the years. Political art, at least as Richard Misrach has practiced it, deserves an 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 and be aware of the destructive impulses implied in the beautiful images. Can they be viewed as a pure aesthetic experience? The answer is that they should be approached aesthetically as art, but that the experience inescapably includes (rather than precludes) the political awareness that Misrach achieves through his powerful juxtaposition of images. An absolute "must-have" title for Richard Misrach collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Richard Misrach. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. It is also very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the same page by Susan Sontag. This title is a great art photography book. As far as we know, this is the only such double-signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and despite its imperfection (discreet remainder mark on the bottom) is still in especially fine condition: The cloth boards, DJ, and all of the inside pages are clean, crisp, and bright. Misrach signed a few copies, but this is the only one also signed by Sontag we have ever seen. Please note: 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 signed copy thus. 67 color plates. One of the most important American photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RICHARD MISRACH TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0893815195. $400.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 22, 2019.