Book Highlight: Valparaiso - Sergio Larrain
02 February 2017
Aperture’s monograph Sergio Larrain was my book of the year 2013. You can read about it here . If you missed that volume, I am happy to see that his most famous book Valparaiso has just been republished with extra photos which were not in the original publication.
Chilean photographer Sergio Larrain (1931-2012) published very few books during his lifetime, but perhaps the most feted among them was Valparaiso. He photographed this Chilean seaport throughout his career, but it was in the early 1960s, when he returned to his homeland after travelling the world for many years as a Magnum photographer, that it became a focus for his attention. He saw it as 'a rather sordid yet romantic city', standing between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, falling into a slow decline as its trading importance faded away, yet still retaining hints of beauty and magic. Now published in English for the first time with an introduction by Agnes Sire as well as a specially written text by Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, this new edition of Valparaiso is based on a layout that Larrain designed in 1993, in response to the original French edition of 1991. It also includes a selection of previously unpublished photographs taken between 1952 and 1992, expanding the original 36 images to a total of 120. This intimate book features handwritten notes and texts by the artist himself, allowing us to share his singular vision of the world and its moments of grace.
The Aperture publication featured much of this work and the printing was excellent. I only hope the same high values will be again evident in this welcome book. A must buy for Larrain fans. RRP €50 but The Book Depository currently has it for around €30