December 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Sally Mann’s “Southern Landscape” is in production. Hand-coated prints made with platinum, palladium, and gold exemplify the classic printing processes 21st Editions is known for publishing. Letterpress on handmade sheets and individually sewn and hand-crafted bindings all are a tribute to these time honored processes that together lead to exceptional offerings.
December 2, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Unique to the history of photography, 21st Editions represents the intersection created between the classically processed photographic image, prose, poetry, and the fine-press book that began with the great English designer, artist, poet and publisher, William Morris, and his Kelmscott Press’s masterpiece, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.
It is therefore fitting that 21st Editions, just having celebrating its 15th year, will be exhibiting at the London Art Fair. The fair runs from January 15-19, 2014 with a VIP Preview on Tuesday, January 14. Highlights from the collection of more than 40 titles published since 1998 will be on display and available.
Our booth (stand #50) will highlight our newest books: Imogen Cunningham: Symbolist with poetry and prose by William Morris and Sally Mann’s Southern Landscape. We will also showcase significant titles such as Love, Graham Nash, Yamamoto Masao, The Sonnets of Shakespeare with artist Flor Garduño, Michael Kenna’s Huangshan, and a portfolio of hand-pulled photogravures by Josephine Sacabo.
Please let us know if you are interested in seeing us in London. Pam or Steve can be reached at 508-398-3000 or 21st@21stEditions.com
November 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
August 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“Sally Mann found these plantation ruins near Afton Villa Gardens in Louisiana, close to the Mississippi border. She had been driving south on Route 61, and was in ‘that dimension of revelation and ecstasy that eludes historical time’:
The lazy shafts of Mississippi sun contributed to this sensation, illuminating vortices of cotton flies, like hundreds of slow-motion distant tornadoes alighting upon the cotton fields. . . . I found the air rich with essential protein smells, the sweet ferment of fecundity. Oncoming drivers never failed to raise a languidly welcoming hand at this stranger, not just the congenial black faces behind the wheels of the low-slung, battered old Grand Prixes and Catalinas, but also the beefy Bull Connor types in new white F-150 pickups bristling with antennas, an NRA sticker on the back window below the shotgun.
It was such a truck that came slowly across the fields to where I had discovered a burned-down ruin of a plantation house. It seemed a million miles from any paved road, so, ignoring several NO TRESPASSING signs, I had driven up to it.
‘I heard the engine cut off, the door open, and footsteps approach,’ she said:
There was a pause while I supposed a gun barrel was being raised to the part of the darkcloth where my back, given the evidence of the legs below, would be. ‘My goodness but it’s a nice day to be taking a photograph,’ the gentlest of Southern voices said.”
John Stauffer and Sally Mann,
from Southern Landscape
August 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“Rowan Oak, the name of Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi, derives from The Golden Bough (1890), a study of myth and religion by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer. Frazer describes the magical powers of the rowan-tree, which warded off the evil spells of witches and gave good luck to travelers. The Golden Bough was one of Faulkner’s favorite books, and when he bought the ‘Bailey Place,’ as it was called, in 1930, he renamed it, and ordered stationery engraved with the name Rowan Oak in gothic script. He allegedly planted a rowan-tree in his yard, but it died from the heat. Now, rows of old cedars line the walkway leading up to the front door, and there are also oaks, sweetgum, and a few catalpa scattered across the twenty-nine acres.
Artists have photographed Rowan Oak for decades, from Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1947, and Martin Dain in 1963, to William Eggleston in 1990. But in Rowan Oak Sally Mann has outdone them, for her photograph evokes the magical powers of the rowan-tree. The old cedar in the foreground glows as if from within. (Mann used a portrait lens, the better to capture light, detail, and the texture of her central subject.) The tree seems animistic, endowed with a personality and a soul. It unashamedly shows its scars, which look like they came from an axe.
What gives the image such dramatic brilliance, however, is the shadowy, slender branch that approaches the cedar, like a specter from the past. The branch forms a heart–or perhaps a shield, or a noose, or even a damaged old lens. It frames the out-of-focus tree in the background, suggesting an ambiguous pax de troix, a site of ancient passion, love, and strife.”
John Stauffer, from Southern Landscape
July 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“We let the remarkable, ordinary wonders of living slip into the oblivion of memory, but they are the very moments Sally Mann lovingly records, resurrects, and returns to us. I would not be surprised if at the moment of our deaths the last thoughts that flicker before our consciousness look like photographs by Sally Mann, and I will be disappointed if mine do not.”
July 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“Living in the South means being both nourished and wounded by the experience. To identify a person as a Southerner is always to suggest not only that her history is inescapable and profoundly formative, but that it is also imperishably present. Southerners live at the nexus between myth and reality where that peculiar amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, loyalty, graciousness and renegade defiance plays out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty.”