25 March 2013
The suffering of light is a comprehensive monograph on the career of Magnum photographer Alex Webb. It covers a thirty year period 1979 to 2009. Featuring work from previous bodies of work including, Dislocations, Crossings, and Istanbul, It also features work not previously published. The book is arranged chronologically beginning in Graneda in 1979 and finishing in Pennsylvania in 2010.
From a photographic style point of view there is no real change during this period. His visual vocabulary in place from the start, allows him time to absorb, experience and organise the many complex elements within the frame. For Webb's images are visually complex, layered, highly structured, energetic and at the same time cohesive. They are joy to behold! They show a mastery of timing, gesture, light, colour, and composition. He uses the entire area of the frame, all in the classic 35mm landscape format.
As street photography goes, this is as good as it gets. Worthy successor to Henri Cartier-Bresson, he has the same innate sensitivity for geometry and timing, while adding colour to the mix. This indeed is inspirational work and if one has an interest in documentary street photography, you owe it to yourself to buy this book so you can absorb and enjoy it over time, for these images are not to be rushed.
The book is large 31 x 34 cm. Printed on good paper with nice rich colour. Layout design (see photos) is not fussy, presenting the images with a simply elegance.
Book contents can be seen here on Alex Webb website.
Hear Alex Webb talk about his work