Sensory Deprivation

Toledo, Ohio, USA, 1974 Image © Bernd and Hilla Becher

Gas Tanks

Bernd and Hilla Becher

“The famous Düsseldorf photographers’ formal investigation of industrial structures displays their serenely cool, rigorous approach to the structures they photograph as variations on an ideal form. The Bechers make no attempt to analyze or explain their subjects. For more than 35 years, the Bechers have been creating a monument to the most venerable buildings of the industrial era through their photographic art. They have re-awoken the forgotten or unnoticed beauty of water towers, gas holders, lime kilns and blast furnaces, and their photographs have told the story of the process of industrialization. Their head-on, deadpan photographs express an almost Egyptial sense of man’s heroic effort to put his mark on the landscape. Gas Tanks presents four principally different forms of gas holders or gas tanks taken over three decades.”

Publisher: MIT
Hardback: 144 pages


Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-Six Ghosts

John Stevenson

This series is the last work of Japanese master woodblock-print artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, expressing his personal fascination with the supernatural by illustrating traditional Japanese ghost stories. Prints—such as Kiyomori Sees Hundreds of Skulls at Fukuhara, Tametomo’s Ferocity Drives Away the Smallpox Demons, The Old Woman Retrieving Her Arm, and “The autumn wind blows, there is nothing more to say, grass grows through the eye-sockets of Ono’s skull.”—Narihira—are reproduced in this collection in full color, one per page countered by text which explains the supernatural tale being illustrated.

Publisher: University of Washington
Hardback: 92 pages

Yves Klein

Hannah Weitemeier

A concise overview of the French protomodernist’s career, containing brilliant reproductions of many of his major efforts, plus a text which achieves (inadvertently or not) just the right tone of elitist obscurantism to carry off the relentless myth-making that was so integral to his oeuvre. “Klein never learned the trade of painting; he was born to it,” enthuses author Hannah Weitemeier, paving the way for Klein’s own claim to having “absorbed the taste of painting with my mother’s milk.” Perhaps there wasn’t all that much to learn, seeing as how the paintings in question were mostly one color, mostly blue—a particular hue Klein went on to patent as “International Klein Blue.” This same blue was also applied to sculptural objects as well as naked women whom he employed as living stamps in the production of his “Anthropometries” series. Elaborately ritualized, with a full orchestra and a tuxedo-clad Klein as MC, the process was documented in the film Mondo Cane, and thereby doomed to go down in history as an emblem of avant excess. Here it is, then, “a life like a continuous note,” which Klein meant literally of course, composing the famous paean to himself The Monotone Symphony-Silence, and having it performed at openings, at his wedding and finally at his funeral. JT

Publisher: Taschen
Paperback: 96 pages