Signed copies will begin shipping in mid-September
Interview by Jessica Bell Brown
Essay by Casey Gerald
Edited by Barney Kulok
In 1983, Baldwin Lee (b. 1951) left his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his 4 × 5 view camera and set out on the first of a series of road trips to photograph the American South. The subject of his pictures were Black Americans: at home, at work, and at play, in the street, and among nature. This project would consume Lee—a first-generation Chinese American—for the remainder of that decade, and it would forever transform his perception of his country, its people, and himself. The resulting archive from this seven-year period contains nearly ten thousand black-and-white negatives. This monograph, *Baldwin Lee*, presents a selection of eighty-eight images edited by the photographer Barney Kulok, accompanied by an interview with Lee by the curator Jessica Bell Brown and an essay by the writer Casey Gerald. Arriving almost four decades after Lee began his journey, this publication reveals the artist’s unique commitment to picturing life in America and, in turn, one of the most piercing and poignant bodies of work of its time.
Shortlisted for the 2023 Les Prix du Livre, Arles Les Recontres de la Photographie
Shortlisted for the 2022 Aperture Paris-Photo Photobook of the Year Award
Best Photo Books of 2022: Time Magazine
Best Photo Books of 2022: Photo-eye
Best Photo Books of 2022: Vince Aletti @ The International Center of Photography
Best Photobooks of 2022: Photobookstore
Selected by Martin Amis, Ed Templeton, Deanna Templeton, Rahim Fortune, Aaron Schuman, Clint Woodside, Blake Andrews, Brad Feuerhelm, Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Web, and Mark Power
"A new book—the first-ever collection of [Baldwin] Lee’s work—and a solo exhibition in New York make the case that he is one of the great overlooked luminaries of American picture-making. It’s not often that a body of photography is hoisted up from obscurity and straight into the canon. "
- Chris Wiley, The New Yorker
"The warmth and soulfulness of his work is not the result of intellectual effort; it’s grounded in understanding, a combination of intensity and restraint, and, surely, a shared sense of otherness."
- Vince Aletti, Photograph Magazine
"I suspect that few are aware of the accomplishments of Baldwin Lee, who, photographing in the South 30 years ago, produced a body of work that is among the most remarkable in American photography of the past half century."
- Mark Steinmetz, Time Magazine
"The best street photography focuses our attention on what we have trained ourselves to ignore. Even decades after he took them, the stunning photos of Baldwin Lee have the power to open our eyes. To teach us to see."
- Margaret Renkl, The New York Times
"Baldwin’s work is amongst the most moving work of its time. I am sorry to have been so ignorant to have not known of it. Blessed to know it now…"
- Judith Joy Ross
"Baldwin Lee's book is one of the best I've seen in a very long time. The pictures stand apart, not because they are depictions of Black subjects by a first-generation Chinese-American, but because they were made by a photographer of rare perception and instinct."
- Joshua Chuang, Curator
"A revelatory record of a time and a place and a people."
- Sean O'Hagen, The Guardian
"The photos in Baldwin Lee’s namesake book recently published by Hunters Point Press are sumptuously lyrical explorations of America’s Deep South."
- Kenneth Dickerman, Washington Post
"... Walker Evans was one of Lee’s teachers. Like Evans, Lee has a sensitive eye for both poverty and dignity. But Lee’s southern exposure wasn’t overwhelmingly white, as it was in Evans’s classic "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Quite the contrary, Lee is a witness to those at the bottom of U.S. stratification, and their refusal to swallow that status. ...The work is political, because it exposes the violence of poverty inherited from the plantation-economy past. But it is most of all attentiveness to the composure of his subjects that is echoed masterfully in the composition of his shots. ...We are a motley assortment of people in the United States. Our relations are not tidy, not in their beauty, nor in their disastrous disaffection and cruelty. "
- Imani Perry, The Atlantic
"Must-See Photography Books of 2022: The first collection of remarkable work, made in the 1980s in the American South, by a Chinese-American photographer who, under the influence of Walker Evans, saw his Black subjects with an inherently incisive and compassionate eye."
- Vince Aletti, Photograph Magazine
10.8 x 11.4 inches
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