Photobooks of 2017: Simon Baker
Mathieu Asselin – Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation
An urgent topic and brilliantly conceived and delivered. Smart and important work that wears its engagement and effort lightly and is consequently compelling.
Marguerite Bornhauser – Plastic Colours
Intelligent, playful and showing a wonderful sensitivity to both colour and form – small, modest and full of life!
Tiane Doan Na Champassak – The Strip
A vertiginous descent into both subject and process, that sees Champassak on the top of his game. Look out for the beautiful special edition with print.
Masahisa Fukase – Ravens, (re-issue with essay by Tomo Kosuga)
A timely re-issue of a classic with an important new contextual essay by the director of the Fukase Archive: and already one of the best selling books of the past few years – a must have (even if you are lucky enough to own the original!)
Mahtab Hussain – You Get Me?
A really important book. Hussain deals with a difficult and divisive subject with clarity, intelligence and style. Brilliant use of both text and image and designed with flair.
Timothy Prus – The Luton Auguries
About what you would expect from a self-destructive country in which it never stops raining, and its strangest ambassador, Timothy Prus. Mad, confusing, poetic and beautiful. What to buy everyone for Christmas (in case it rains)
Maya Rochat – A Rock is a River
A real tour de force by Rochat, beautifully produced by SPBH – a multi-layered body of work that justifies its range and extent by its cumulative effect…
(full disclosure: I have a very short text in this book)
Matjaz Tancic – 3DPRK
More of a box than a book (and published right at the very end of 2016) but deserves to be here anyway. It’s a wonderful thing, ambitious, stylish and cool.
Hiroshi Takizawa – Sleep
A seductive and disturbing sequence of black and white images of beds and sheets – modest and unassuming it is just one of a number of very good recent books by Takizawa.
Justinas Vilutis – Pleiades
This one is probably hard to find, but worth looking for. Extreme anatomy, close-up and cropped almost to the point of abstraction, and then printed in super saturated silk-screen style reds and golds. Hot stuff!
Simon Baker is the senior curator of International Art (Photography) at Tate
Images: Mathieu Asselin – Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation, below – Masahisa Fukase – Ravens and Maya Rochat – A Rock Is A River