Best Contemporary Photography Books

1. The Photograph as Contemporary Art

by Charlotte Cotton

âÄúAn essential guide.âÄùâÄîSeattle Post-Intelligencer For this new edition, Charlotte Cotton brings the story of contemporary art photography up to date with a chapter on artists who emphasize the physical and material properties of photography, who use photography as just one component in their pan-media practice, or who choose to experiment with new modes of dissemination for their work. Featuring significant and established art photographers such as Isa…»

2. Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before

by Michael Fried

From the late 1970s onward, serious art photography began to be made at large scale and for the wall. Michael Fried argues that this immediately compelled photographers to grapple with issues centering on the relationship between the photograph and the viewer standing before it that until then had been the province only of painting. Fried further demonstrates that certain philosophically deep problemsâÄîassociated with notions of theatricality, literalness,…»

3. Photography After Frank

by Philip Gefter

In Photography After Frank, former New York Times writer and picture editor Philip Gefter narrates the tale of contemporary photography, beginning at the pivotal moment when Robert Frank commenced his seminal works of the 1950s. Along the way, he connects the dots of photography's evolution into what it is today, forging links between its episodes to reveal unsuspected leaps. Gefter takes Frank's The Americans as a decisive challenge to photographic…»

4. The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography

by Lyle Rexer

From the beginning, abstraction has been intrinsic to photography, and its persistent popularity reveals much about the medium. The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography is the first book in English to document this phenomenon and to put it into historical context, while also examining the diverse approaches thriving within contemporary photography. Author Lyle Rexer examines abstraction at pivotal moments, starting with the inception of…»

5. Haunted: Contemporary Photography, Video, Performance

by Jennifer Blessing, Peggy Phelan, Nat Trotman

Much of contemporary photography and video seems haunted by the past, by ghostly apparitions that are reanimated in reproductive media, as well as in live performance and the virtual world. By using dated, passe or quasi-extinct stylistic devices, subject matter and technologies, these arts can embody a melancholic longing for an otherwise unrecuperable past. Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance examines the myriad ways by which photographic…»

6. Photography Reborn: Image Making in the Digital Era

by Jonathan Lipkin

Not long ago photographers considered digital pictures apostasy-but now film is increasingly being replaced as a great alternative medium for professionals, artists, and everyday snapshooters. Photography Reborn is the first comprehensive survey of this exciting new medium of visual expression-it is an essential reference for anyone who wants to understand this revolution.In this important companion to a new art form, author Jonathan Lipkin chronicles the…»

7. Photo Art

by Uta Grosenick, Thomas Seelig

More adventurous in scope than other comparable compendiums, Photo Art is a vast critical survey of contemporary conceptual-oriented photography. It particularly addresses the work of artists emerging in Western and Eastern Europe--many of whom will be new to American audiences--and presents critical contexts for their work in accompanying essays. Gathering more than 120 image-makers from around the globe, this luscious compendium reads like an…»

8. Over Exposed: Essays on Contemporary Photography

by Carol Squiers

Renowned photographers and critics address the major controversies in photography today. In recent years, photographic images have been blamed for everything from heroin chic and meaningless politics to women's distorted body images and the death of Princess Diana. In Over Exposed, a group of distinguished photographers, critics, and cultural historians examine the many roles of photography in contemporary western culture, covering questions about…»

9. Conversations: With Contemporary Photographers

by Nan Richardson

Conversations is a landmark series in photography, featuring extensive, in-depth interviews on aesthetics, craft, and culture with living masters and major international critics from Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries, including new interviews commissioned especially for this collection. The book traces the heritage of the medium in a fascinating dozen informal discourses and…»

10. Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: Expanded Edition

by Lawrence Weschler

When this book first appeared in 1982, it introduced readers to Robert Irwin, the Los Angeles artist "who one day got hooked on his own curiosity and decided to live it." Now expanded to include six additional chapters and twenty-four pages of color plates, Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees chronicles three decades of conversation between Lawrence Weschler and light and space master Irwin. It surveys many of Irwin's site-conditioned…»

11. Photography

by Stephen Bull

Photography explores the photograph in the 21st century and its importance as a media form. Stephen Bull considers our media-saturated society and the place of photography in everyday life, introducing the theories used to analyse photographs and exploring the impact of digital technology. The text is split into short, accessible chapters on the broad themes central to the study and analysis of photography, and key issues are explained and applied to…»

12. Photography After Conceptual Art

by Diarmuid Costello, Margaret Iversen

Photography After Conceptual Art presents a series of original essays that address substantive theoretical, historical, and aesthetic issues raised by post-1960s photography as a mainstream artistic medium Appeals to people interested in artist's use of photography and in contemporary art Tracks the efflorescence of photography as one of the most important mediums for contemporary art Explores the relation between recent art, theory and aesthetics, for…»