Book Week: Charles Traub: Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980’s
What better way to get ready for the summer than to enjoy Charles H. Traub‘s new monograph, Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s, published by Damiani with a foreword by Max Kozloff and a dialogue by Luigi Ballerini. Throughout the 1980s, Traub was a frequent visitor to Italy, and the resulting book is full of striking color photographs, shown together for the first time since the mid-1980s. This evening, Saturday, April 26, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. there will be a book signing at the Artbook/DAP booth at Paris Photo Los Angeles. The book is available for sale on amazon or signed copies are available on his site: http://charles-traub.
Dolce Via highlights Traub’s ability to capture spectacular moments in vivid color, in which tourists linger in front of Roman monuments and teenagers prance around town in nothing more than bikini tops. Traub’s images are marked by a candid intimacy that combines humor and spontaneity, making us long for an Italy that once was—or perhaps only existed in our romantic, brightly hued imaginations. Brilliant blues, reds, and yellows engulf the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people who, in front of Traub’s lens, morph into fond archetypical caricatures.
The images, well layered and confident, provide an outsider’s view: an American man, capturing the Italian essence in cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, and Naples. The Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri, who was Traub’s friend and guide throughout the country, said of his photographs, “You see our foibles, strip us bare, make love through the camera, and then venerate us.”
Charles H. Traub (b. 1945) has been a photographer for almost 50 years; his work is widely exhibited internationally. He is founder and chair of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts and is the president of the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Traub has published seven books, including Beach (1977), Italy Observed (1988), and Still Life in America (2004). He is represented by Gitterman Gallery, New York, and his work is in the collections of major museums worldwide.
Max Kozloff is one of the leading photography critics working today. Formerly the executive editor of Artforum, he is a prolific author whose books include the first comprehensive monograph on Jasper Johns, and Photography and Fascination, a celebrated collection of essays detailing the history of New York street photography, which accompanied a traveling exhibition that he curated. His own photographs were published in the monograph New York Over the Top in 2013.
Luigi Ballerini is a distinguished Italian humanist, scholar and poet. He teaches modern and contemporary Italian literature at UCLA. He has written extensively on avant-garde literature and poetry, Guido Cavalcanti and on poetics, and on gastronomy. His Epic poem, published in 2005, and reprinted in 2012, appears in his anthology Cefalonia 43 e altre poesie.
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