Above: image research for the catalogue From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America (2010)
From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America is the first exhibition catalogue to feature the full spectrum of the work of Alec Soth, one of the most interesting voices in contemporary photography, whose compelling images of everyday America form powerful narrative vignettes. Featuring more than 100 of the artist’s photographs made over the past 15 years, the book includes new critical essays by exhibition curator Siri Engberg, curator and art historian Britt Salvesen and critic Barry Schwabsky, which offer context on the artist’s working process, the photo-historical tradition behind his practice and reflections on his latest series of works. Novelist Geoff Dyer’s “Riverrun”–a meditation on Soth’s series Sleeping by the Mississippi–and August Kleinzahler’s poem “Sleeping It Off in Rapid City” contribute to the thoughtful exploration of this body of work. Also included in the publication is a 48-page artist’s book by Soth titled The Loneliest Man in Missouri, a photographic essay with short, diaristic texts capturing the banality and ennui of middle America’s suburban fringes, with their corporate office parks, strip clubs and chain restaurants. This full-color publication includes a complete exhibition history, bibliography and interview with the artist by Bartholomew Ryan. Alec Soth was born in 1969 and raised in Minnesota, where he continues to live and work. He has received fellowships from the McKnight Foundation (1999, 2004) and Jerome Foundation (2001), was the recipient of the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography and was short-listed for the highly prestigious Deutsche Borse Photography Prize. His first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published in 2004 to critical acclaim. Since then Soth has published Niagara (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007), Dog Days, Bogota (2007) and The Last Days of W (2008). He is a member of Magnum Photos.
From DLK Collection’s review of the book:
What I like best about Soth’s catalog is it’s overt subversiveness; while it of course contains plenty of images from the past 15 years and a handful of texts, it’s overall feel is unlike any other exhibition catalog I have ever encountered. The cover is both unpretentious and quirky. The essays wander all over the place, following exploratory tangents. Choice blog posts are interleaved, like little vignettes or thought bubbles. The obligatory artist interview is actually insightful and revealing. In short, the book is personal, real, and intelligently authentic, rather than packaged up in the normal trappings of haughty art world cool; it is joyfully nerdy and unabashedly eccentric.
From Nerose’s Amazon review of the book:
. . . there’s some smart texts by interesting writers, marred only by persnickety little blog entries e.g. bitching about photo-books with “America/American” in the title, but then, my goodness—this book is sub-titled “Alec Soth’s America”—right there on the cover. Sweet irony.
From the AIGA Archives:
During our typographic research we came across a DIY, simple-living magazine called The Mother Earth News, which we referenced for the general layout of the cover.
From Conscientious’ review of the book:
Alec Soth certainly isn’t chasing after the kind of “cool” the “MAC” guy seems to possess. That conversation’s title is “Dismantling My Career,” and From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America does just that, except it does it in such a way that’s not all that obvious whether or not there is something being dismantled here. After all, the artist is a very good friend of the old herring who might or might not be red.
From The PostModern Common’s review of the book:
This exhibition catalogue is more than a book, it is a guide to life using the medium of photography.
From Photoeye’s review of the book:
Everything you already knew and ever wanted to know about Alec Soth is accessible within the design of this book—and if you feel you have a few more questions about Soth the book didn’t answer, the photographer was even kind enough to provide his phone number and email address—you can’t miss it, it’s right there on the cover.
From Twin Cities Daily Planet’s review of the book:
Fortunately, the book contains more than critics’ analyses. There are plates representing the exhibit’s images, pages republishing some of Soth’s blog entries in ironically tactile raised letters, and a kind of art-book Izzy scoop: a little paper volume chronicling the artist’s search for The Loneliest Man in Missouri tucked into a pocket in the back cover.
From Zippidy-Doo-Daa’s Amazon review of the book:
“THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IT…NOTHING ELSE TO SAY OTHER THAN GO OUT AND BUY IT…THANK YOU JAHI FOR BEING SUCH AN AMAZING FRIEND, AND PURCHASING THIS FANTASTIC BOOK FOR ME.” -EMILY KINNI