Adding to our list of favorites in our show A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks, is How Terry Likes His Coffee, by Florian van Roekel

In “How Terry likes his Coffee” Florian Van Roekel examined the consequences of professionalization on the way we cope with reality and each other. All photo’s are candid. The images were taken in a fifteen month period throughout five different companies in the Netherlands. This body of work has been produced as part of the final exam of his Bachelor of Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in the Hague, Netherlands.
This book was included in “Best Books of the Decade” by Martin Parr (2011)


New, exclusive @Carte Blanche bookstore: we got a few signed copies of Niagara by Alec Soth.


By way of follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth turns his eye to another iconic body of water, Niagara Falls. And as with his photographs of the Mississippi, these images are less about natural wonder than human desire. “I went to Niagara for the same reason as the honeymooners and suicide jumpers,” says Soth, “the relentless thunder of the Falls just calls for big passion.” The subject may be hot, but the pictures are quiet, the rigorously composed and richly detailed products of a large-format 8x10 camera. Working over the course of two years on both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls, Soth edited the results of his labors down to a tight and surprising album. He depicts newlyweds and naked lovers, motel parking lots, pawnshop wedding rings and love letters from the subjects he photographed. We read about teenage crushes, workplace affairs, heartbreak and suicide. Oscar Wilde wrote, “The sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life.” Niagara brings viewers both the passion and the disappointment—a remarkable portrayal of modern love and its aftermath.


Another wonderful addition to the Carte Blanche bookstore, is Viviane Sassen’s new book, that acts as a visual  journal intime with her muse, Roxane.

Roxane’s body and expressions follow the artist’s direction in a sequence of poses and moods collected over a number of years. The artist use of light and shadows highlight the beauty, and obscurities of the human form. The viewer is offered a glimpse of Sassen’s creative process through the relationship between the photographer and her muse. The book is accompanied with a poem, Her Head Occurred to Me, by Maria Barnas. Roxane is printed in a limited edition by Oodee Publishing.


Carte Blanche is thrilled to now carry the photobook A Criminal Investigation by Yukichi Watabe

As its title suggests, Yukichi Watabe’s A Criminal Investigation focuses on a particularly gruesome and mysterious murder committed in Japan in the late 1950s. The book begins with a sparse note: On January 13, 1958, a nose, two fingertips and a penis were discovered in an oil vat near Sembako Lake northeast of Tokyo. A disfigured body, badly burned by acid, was found nearby the next day. The grisly circumstances led local police to form a special unit to investigate the crime, and Watabe, a freelance photojournalist at the time, managed to arrange special access to document the investigation in its entirety.

Half a century later, on the other side of the world, Watabe’s stunning series of black-and-white images have emerged as an almost impossibly perfect photo book, one that’s deservedly included on several of the year’s notable best-of lists.

In 2006, a rare book dealer in London acquired a group of around 120 prints by Watabe from which the images in A Criminal Investigation are taken. The central character of the series is an incredibly photogenic detective, a Japanese Humphrey Bogart or Inspector Columbo. He appears in almost every picture, taking notes, making phone calls, going undercover at a train station, canvassing different neighbourhoods looking for clues, and visiting the tannery where the victim had once worked. If this all sounds like a Raymond Chandler novel, that’s exactly how it looks, too.


New from Robert Frank, and now at Gallery Carte Blanche is You Would

You Would is a sequel to Robert Frank’s acclaimed Tal Uf Tal Ab of 2010. You Would contains recent images, some shot on 35mm, others Polaroids, of Frank’s friends, acquaintances and surroundings in New York and Mabou, Nova Scotia. In the book are also iconic images from earlier in Frank’s career such as a photo of Delphine Seyrig and Larry Rivers on the set of Frank’s 1959 film Pull My Daisy. This careful edit of new and old suggests that past experience tempers Frank’s present, and shows that his life is not only recorded by book-making but shaped by it.


Carte Blanche is happy to now carry another wonderful book from Alec Soth’s earlier years, Looking for Love, 1996.

Love makes people do strange things. The history of mankind is rife with love producing illogical and oddball behavior. When it comes to photography, falling in love with the medium is hardly an exception. For example, someone painfully shy might find themselves impulsively photographing strangers without asking for permission. Or, they instinctively photograph something without any ability to later explain why. Alec Soth’s newest book Looking for Love, 1996 is, in its way, about both—the search for love guided by the heart and the search of love guided by the eye.


Carte Blanche Artists Talk & Book signing series
Thursday July 5th, 6pm-8:30pm

Carte Blanche is pleased to invite you to its second artists’ talk and book signing event featuring photographers Bruce Haley and Tomas van Houtryve.

Join us at 973 Valencia Street, San Francisco on Thursday July 5th from 6pm for their introductory presentations followed by a fascinating discussion about Communism and its impact in the 21st century, moderated by Luis Delgado.

Selected photos of Cuba from Tomas van Houtryve’s book “Behind the Curtains” will also be on display: www.gallerycarteblanche.com

More details: http://www.gallerycarteblanche.com/pages/events & http://www.facebook.com/events/378580432190978/


Yes! We have finally received our copies of Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson. (Second edition)

You’re not going to be disappointed, the book is great!

Come and get your copy at Carte Blanche bookstore, SF before they’re gone…

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2011 by:

Publisher’s Description

“Redheaded Peckerwood, which unerringly walks the fine line between fiction and nonfiction, is a disturbingly beautiful narrative about unfathomable violence and its place on the land” Luc Sante

Redheaded Peckerwood is a work with a tragic underlying narrative – the story of 19 year old Charles Starkweather and 14 year old Caril Ann Fugate who murdered ten people, including Fugate’s family, during a three day killing spree across Nebraska to the point of their capture in Douglas, Wyoming. The images record places and things central to the story, depict ideas inspired by it, and capture other moments and discoveries along the way.

From a technical perspective, the photographs incorporate and reference the techniques of photojournalism, forensic photography, image appropriation, reenactment and documentary landscape photography. On a conceptual level, they deal with a charged landscape and play with a photographic representation and truth as the work deconstructs a pre-existing narrative.

Redheaded Peckerwood also utilizes and plays with a pre-existing archive of material, deliberately mixing fact and fiction, past and present, myth and reality as it presents, expands and re-presents the various facts and theories surrounding this story.

While photographs are the heart of this work, they are the complemented and informed by documents and objects that belonged to the killers and their victims – including a map, poem, confession letter, stuffed animal, hood ornament and various other items, in several cases, these materials are discoveries first made by the artist and presented here for the first time.

In book form, the work is presented as a sort of visual crime dossier, including pieces of paper which are inserted into the book. The many individual pieces included serve as cues and clues within the visual puzzle. In this way, there are connections that are left for the viewer to be made and mysteries that are left to be solved.


Another great book in our current show, A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks, that is now part of our bookstore is Alpine Star, by Ron Jude.

Based on a sequence of pictures culled from the back-issues of a small town newspaper, Alpine Star by Ron Jude engages with the fictions of our collective memory. We find at work something far stranger than the standard assault on a photographic “code” that has undermined most discussion of the subject. This is not just another deconstruction of photography as if it were a kind of conceptual problem to be solved and explicated, but rather an irrational poetics of the archive. Jude has fashioned an uncanny anti-narrative, its precise structure defined by a tension native to photography itself. The result is more than just the sum of its parts – he achieves, in this minimal way, a very satisfying and provocative ambiguity.
—Darren Campion


New the the Carte Blanche book store is local San Francisco artist Kevin Kunishi’snew book  Los Restos de la Revolución.

In 1979, after over a decade of struggle, the socialist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua overthrew the famously corrupt dictator, Anastasio Somoza. The Sandinistas quickly began the work of applying their social and ideological values in the hopes of creating a better Nicaragua. Amid the rhetoric of the cold war, the US had different ideas – it mobilised the Contras, a CIA financed, armed and trained clandestine rebel insurgency against the fledgling government.

This series consists of portraits of Sandinistas and their opposing Contra veterans, as well as artifacts and landscapes significant to that volatile era. Although these two sides held polarized political philosophies, both in their foundation and practice, their survivors are united by the burden of a war-torn history,” says Kunishi.

Kevin Kunishi has just won the 2011 Blue Earth Alliance Award for his series Los Restos de la Revolución.


Road Ends in Water, Eliot Dudik - Saga Publishing

Now available at Carte Blanche gallery, SF

Change is descending upon an otherwise quiet, unhurried, unobtrusive, place. The main highway, U.S. Route 17, that bisects South Carolina’s ‘lowcountry,’ is being widened to accommodate commerce, tourists, and urban refugees. Not only are many homes, some historic, disappearing before the tracked blades of expansion, but also the newer, faster thoroughfare encourages greater disregard and obliviousness to the charm and culture the basin harbors.

This collection of images and thoughts is a tribute to, and an acknowledgment of, the respect the modest souls of this region, obscure from the mainstream, deserve for their tenacity, good humor, social commitment, and acceptance of the ebb and flow of the often incomprehensible vagaries of existence.


A wonderful addition to the Gallery Carte Blanche bookstore, is Gerry Johnsson’s signed copy of Deutschland.

Following the phenomenal success of Gerry Johansson’s 2011 publication Pontiac, MACK publishing is are pleased to launch the long-awaited Deutschland which completes an eighteen-year series of books for which Johansson traveled through America, Sweden, Germany and Mongolia.

Deutschland is a visual encyclopedia, a catalogue of the rural and urban landscapes of Germany arranged in alphabetical order. In carefully structured greyscale images, Johansson sensitively explores German history through its landscape, picking out the industrial scenes, industrial buildings, residential roads and shop fronts. His quiet photographs are carefully constructed, grid patterns recur constantly and each frame is packed with information.



One of our favorite new books in the Carte Blanche bookstore, is Here Far Away, a major retrospective book of Pentti Sammallahti.

Here Far Away is a retrospective work that comprises nearly fifty years of photographic activity and unfolds in almost as many countries. Despite this, Pentti Sammallahti’s discreet title points to the paradox that the photograph always represents a here-and-now: an encounter on the page of the book between artist and viewer, which constantly reflects the capacity of the two to enter into a dialog, to extend the picture’s mirror of the past into the viewer’s present and future.

Pentti Sammallahti began photographing at 11 and by 1971 began to exhibit extensively in Finland and throughout the world. He has traveled widely, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Re- publics through Siberia, across Europe and Great Britain and to Asia and Africa. His travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios and books.


Another new beauty at the Carte Blanche bookstore is Dive Dark Dream Slow, a book of found imagery edited by Melissa Catanese.

Photographer and bookseller Melissa Catanese has recently been editing the vernacular photography collection of Peter J. Cohen, helping to organize this massive curated archive (a trove of 20,000+ prints) into a series of single-theme catalogues. Along the way, she has pursued an alternate reading of the collection, drifting away from simple typology into something more personal, intuitive, and openly poetic. Her magical new artist book, Dive Dark Dream Slow, is rooted in the mystery and delight of the ‘found’ image and the 'snapshot’ aesthetic, but pushes beneath the nostalgic surface of these pictures, re-reading them as luminous transmissions of anticipation, fear, and desire. Like an album of pop songs about a girl (or a civilization) hovering on the verge of transformation, the book cycles through overlapping themes and counter-themes—moon/ocean; violence/tenderness; innocence/experience; masks/nakedness—that sparkle with psychic longing and apocalyptic comedy.


Once again, Carte Blanche is carrying the very popular Portraits De Villes! We now have portrait books of 10 different cities and artists from all over the globe including: Brasilia byVincent Fournier; Paris by Patrick Messina; Moscou by Harry Gruyaert; New York by Steve Hiett; Naples by Vanessa Atlan; Dubai by Philippe Chancel; Tbilisi by VIncent Lappartient; Pekin by Artus De Lavilleon; Tokyo by Frederic Lebain; and Los Angeles by Vincent Mercier.

In 2007. Be-Pôles. Graphic design studio. First four cities. Four photographers. Four books. This is the beginning of a long journey… Four years later, 15 Portraits de Villes have been published. Each book was a unique journey seen through the eyes of a photographer. A disconcerting, intimate and personal journey.

For its new Portrait de Ville, Éditions Be-Pôles gave Vincent Fournier the carte blanche. The city he decided to capture was Brasilia. In this travel journal, he delivers a fragment of the city, and he wants it all: dizzying angles, hyper-calibrated lines, saturated colors and empty spaces. Its rationalized nature, its ambition and its people. A day in the life, but scripted.