A gem. In this year’s large crop of photo books this is one that in its picture editing, lithography, printing and choice of paper rises above many of the others the panel contemplated. It is clearly an artist’s book, one in which the medium and the work coincide while there is a complete absence of explanation regarding the intention, subject, narrative structure and background of the photography. What we see is deeply dark desolate landscapes, forested and stony volcanic plains. Black predominates, velvety black, the black of night, satin black, graphite black, a multitude of nuances.
The photographic image is printed on two different papers in alternating sections of eight pages: semicoated white with duotone printing in black and warm brown-black, and matt black paper printed twice in white and varnished.
The effect is that the series of photographs gains in concentration because the carrier and the ‘reversed’ printing impose a different, slowed-down manner of looking and browsing. The two sorts of paper give the fore-edge a handsome liquorice allsorts pattern. Screenprinted in white on the greyboard cover is the negative of the dust jacket.
The panel were also much impressed by designer Hans Gremmen, who as picture editor, photo connoisseur and publisher with a completely unique signature and by now a clearly identifiable programme – and as a designer for third parties (see this year’s New Urban Configurations) – succeeds in combining very different roles. With Fw:Books he has steadily built up a manifestly unique podium for photo books.
Silver medal, Best Book Design from all over the World, Leipzig 2015