Every year, TBW Books carefully curates a set of four books, each one featuring a different artist. The series is unified by an overarching theme, “We do it to fill a void in the book collecting marketplace”, director Lester Rosso explains. “It’s the most affordable way for collectors, designers and researchers to be exposed to new photography, trends and high-quality books”.
With four brilliant photographers featured this year, Annual Series No.6 has caught our eye. The set includes work by Guido Guidi, Jason Fulford, Gregory Halpern and Viviane Sassen. It acts as a poetic ode to the passing of time, charged with an essence of the surreal. “Together, these narratives weave a continuum from book to book”, Lester comments, “creating a dreamlike photographic timeline spanning 40 years”. Although each monograph can be celebrated individually, they can also be read together in a group; each one links to the other, sparking questions and interpretations in the next.
The set is unified through its design. “We moved the traditional tip on image from top-weighted-centre to lower-right-hand-bottom weighted”, the director explains, “A decision to honour tradition but also create something new and interesting”. The image on the cover appears almost like a window, a snapshot or postcard into a frozen moment. The white fabric and font are elegant and simplistic, creating a classic finish.
“The process is a very delicate, curatorial dance”, Jason explains. “We work closely with the artist, not only editing but sequencing the photos so that all the books work together”.
The first in the set is a monograph by Guido Guidi. Dietro Casa, translated as “behind the house”, uses a rock pile to mark the flow of time. As the world moves forward, the “pile ebbs into new shapes and sizes as cats cross paths and friends survey the curious space”. Using double exposure and black and white photography to document 1980’s Italy, Guido’s images are haunting and moving.
Jason Fulford’s Clayton’s Ascent tells of his time travelling across the US by motorcycle. Shot between 1997 and 2003, “Fulford’s saturated colours are infused with a veiled foreboding, drawing a blurred line between the real and the artificial”. In this series, he acts as both the protagonist and observer. He uses this trip as a chance to document others – boys sleep behind reflected windows and couples chat at ice hockey games.
In Confederate Moons, Gregory Halpern documents “The Great American Eclipse”. “I was fascinated”, he says, “by the idea that the entire nation was staring at the sun, revelling in the apocalyptic thrill of watching the moon temporarily extinguish our life-source, all together”. With their light spots, dark shadows and bright bursts, the captivating images make you feel as if you’ve also been staring into a dazzling sun.
Finally, Viviane Sasson’s Heliotrope feels alive and bursting with colour. It is a collection where “Sassen investigates new ways of making and altering photographs”, which she shot during her travels to Africa. Graphic shapes, shadows and angles reinterpret the everyday, to create new and extraordinary scenes brimming with vibrancy. A clear departure from Viviane’s previous works, “the series is underpinned by the impulse to explore unknown territories, physical and metaphorical”.