Book Review: Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

A firefly sanctuary beneath the roses

If you have these three books: Beneath the Roses; Sanctuary; Fireflies you don't need to get this latest title from Gregory Crewdson. It is a selective reprint of his photographs with twenty plates from Roses, twenty-one from Sanctuary and fourteen from Fireflies.

Crewdson is probably best known for his wonderful tableaus in Beneath the Roses (2003 to 2008) with forty-nine plates capturing, as label on the back of this book puts it: `...the claustrophobic limbo and abyss of spiritual repression that is the typical suburb'. His Sanctuary book had forty black and whites of the deserted Cinecitta movie studio in Rome. I hadn't seen these before and they do look very intriguing with their mix of old fake buildings and plenty of scaffolding. Some look just like a huge trompe l'oeil painting on a backdrop.

Of the three sections in the book Fireflies seems the weakest to me. Taken in 1996 while Crewdson stayed at a cabin in Becket, Massachusetts. The original title was published by the Skarstedt Gallery in 2007 and had sixty-one black and white plates. No doubt fireflies in action, at dusk, would capture any photographer's spirit but the fourteen plates here seem very experimental and devoid of any real interest to anyone other than Crewdson and why in black and white.

'In a lonely place' was originally issued by German art publisher Hatje Cantz earlier this year (and they printed this edition, too) with Abrams picking up the English rights. Oddly there are two sets of printing, the color for Beneath the Roses uses a 200 screen while Sanctuary and Fireflies uses a 250 screen. The paper in the book seems average. In the front of the book Crewdson writes an interesting eight page illustrated essay about the creative folk who have influenced him.

If you are new to the work of Gregory Crewdson this is a sort of introduction but I would go for 'Twilight' or 'Beneath the Roses' to provide a much more satisfying look at this remarkable photographer

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place
Compare the size.

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place
Spread from an illustrated essay by the photographer in the front of the book.

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place

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