View Full Version : New Book: Landscape as Longing: Queens, New York by Frank Gohlke and Joel Sternfeld

Chester McCheeserton
6-Jun-2017, 21:20

With Michael Mack splitting off to form his own publishing company in 2010, Steidl seemingly lost it's grip at the top of the heap for photography book publications. Titles featured on the front page of Steidl now include books on Tennis tournaments, Kanye West's artistic ventures, and some other head scratchers, along with a few big name photographers (or their estates) who are still committed.

This book, a collaboration between Frank Gohlke and Joel Sternfeld, was the result of a photographic commission to document the borough of Queens, for pictures to be installed in a new building at Queens College. Sternfeld used 8x10 color film and Gohlke shot 5x7 black-and-white. I'm biased in plugging the book as I was working as Gohlke's assistant during part of the project.

They basically made pictures of the urban landscape, although as with Atget or Friedlander, in the best pictures basic would not be a fitting word. The reproduction quality is really good, unusual in a book that features both color and monochrome. Steidl proves that he still has the printing chops, despite Mack siphoning off the contemporary art photographers. The photographs by Sternfeld and Gohlke reflect their different styles, Sternfeld catches people more and one can feel his streetwise wry sense of humor in what he points the machine at. Gohlke's style is quieter and more subtle, he can make the most ordinary scene seem important in the way he organizes the visual information into pictures that are both complicated and clear.



peter schrager
7-Jun-2017, 05:10
Thank you for the heads up

Richard Wasserman
7-Jun-2017, 06:01
Thank you! Two of my favorite photographers together in one book—I ordered one instantly, can't wait to see the goodness.

17-Jun-2017, 06:01
I do not see where either artists captured the "ethnic diversity" of nor the essence of Queens since they left out people for the most part. I like some of Gohike's work and can see the Walker Evans influence. Most of the images felt composed from afar rather than exploring the details. Even use of selective focus might have improved the images. Reading the text describing the work doesn't help since it departs from what they were commissioned to do. My opinion only, art is in the eye of the artists and beholder.