Love on the Left Bank from Dewi Lewis

The 2011 catalogue from Dewi Lewis Publishing (DLP) is worth downloading, if only to see the wide range of work available from this publisher. It includes several books of bodies of work I’ve mentioned here, including some I’ve written about at some length, such as Ed Clark’s Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out, The Animals by Giacomo Brunelli, Vee Speer’s The Birthday Party and many more.  At least one of those pieces I’ve written I’ve never got round to actually publishing, as I’m still waiting for the promised review copy, having written my piece on what I had seen of the work on show, and there are several others I would certainly have reviewed had I received a copy. But I’m just a blogger?

But one of the greatest services that  DLP has given to the photographic community is through the republication of classic works, and the most recent of these is Ed van der Elsken’s 1954 photo-novel Love on the Left Bank, shot in a documentary black and white style.  There is an interesting review that fills in some of the details, particularly about its star, the Australian artist Vali Myers who plays Ann, a bohemian later described by Patti Smith as “the supreme beatnik chick”  around whom the book revolves.

What too is remarkable at the end of the catalogue is a very small section – I think just 17 books – of out of print titles. With some photographic books now going out of print in the blink of an eye, this reflects a real commitment to serving the  photographic community.

Among the other reissues are a couple of classic works by Martin Parr, including his 1986 ‘The Last Resort‘ which really changed him from a photographer into a phenomenon.  Although I felt the power of the work, it reflected an attitude towards the people he photographed that I felt very uneasy about, lacking the kind of respect I’ve always felt essential.

Also in the catalogue is the book London Street Photography 1860-2010 which accompanies the show opening at the Musuem of London later this week.

It includes the work of well-known photographers such as Paul Martin, John Thomson, Humphrey Spender, Bert Hardy, László Moholy-Nagy, Roger Mayne and Tony Ray-Jones as well as the work of many anonymous photographers whose contribution has been just as important in recording the story of the city.

And also includes the work of over 40 other named and still living photographers, and I’m pleased to be one of them, although like I think most I only have a single image in the book.

© 1981, Peter Marshall
Whitechapel, 1981 – Peter Marshall

My picture has been used in quite a lot of the publicity for the show, and although I’ve yet to see it, one of my friends tells me it one of several images on a poster advertising the show he saw in Piccadilly Circus station the other day. You can see some more from the related series of work in Cafe Ideal, Cool Blondes and Paradise revisited on this site, which also links to a larger set on line. The title actually came from a book dummy I put together many years ago following a workshop with Dewi Lewis on book publishing and I hope to publish a greatly revised version through Blurb later this year.

I’m  looking forward to seeing both the show (open to the public from Friday this week – and I’ll post more about it after seeing it at the opening)  and the book London Street Photography 1860-2010, although the reports I’ve heard on the book so far are a little disappointing.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.