10 x 10 American Photobooks

Our selection for the ICP's 10 x 10 American Photobooks project is representative of the sort of artists’ books that we focus on at 6 Decades Books. In each of these titles, the artist has used photographic imagery in the process of making a book which is itself an artwork, not a book where the main point is to reproduce a series of individual images. These are all compelling photobooks, but in several cases the artists who made them are not generally thought of as photographers, or the photographic content consists primarily of pre-existing, or anonymous images. Mike Kelley and Paul Schiek, whose titles are the chronological bookends of the list, both created their works by editing and curating images, rather than making new ones. It is not great photography that interests me so much as the way an artist engages with the book as a medium, using the form to shape content and convey an artistic vision so that the book as a whole communicates in a way that no single image could.

Mike Kelley. The Uncanny. (Sonsbeek, 1993).
[link to Kelley's essay: Playing With Dead Things]

Ryan McGinley. Black Jack. (Self-published, 2007).

Jason Polan. The Land Can Handle It. (Parts & Labor, 2012).

Roe Ethridge. Spare Bedroom. (Self-published, 2004).

Jeff Brouws. Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations. (Self-published, 1992)

Shannon Ebner. Signature. (Wallspace, 2008).

Sam Falls. Paint Paper Palms. (Dashwood, 2011).

Wade Guyton. Zeichnungen für ein kleines Zimmer.  (Walther König, 2011).

Paul Schiek. Dead Men Don't Look Like Me. (TBW, 2012).

Carrie Mae Weems. And 22 Million Very Tired & Very Angry People. (San Francisco Art Institute / Carrie Mae Weems, 1992).