Sims Reed Rare Books×

The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California. Das Neue Industriegelände in Der Nähe Von Irvine, Kalifornien

Baltz, Lewis

New York. Leo Castelli / Castelli Graphics. 1974
This copy is signed in pen by Lewis Baltz on the title page, and numbered 36.100.

“In 1975, the year he published his first book, ‘The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California' Lewis Baltz was also included in a landmark exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House called ‘New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape.' Although some of the participants in that show managed to elude the label, Baltz - along with Robert Adams, Stephen Shore, Henry Wessel, Jr., and Bernd and Hilla Becher - was effectively branded, and ‘The New Industrial Parks' was paired with Adams' 1974 ‘The New West' as the most cogent, concise, and rigorous New Topographics documents produced in America. The label stuck primarily because it was invented to describe exactly what California-born Baltz had been doing since the late ‘60s: photograph the American landscape as a dead zone. Tamed, flattened and sectioned off into building sites and real-estate opportunities, Baltz's New West - most of it located in California's vast suburban sprawl - had long since lost any memory of magnificence and promise. In their place was the alluring vacuum of anonymity (though that seems beside the point in pictures devoid of any human presence) and desolation so complete it was almost elegant. Baltz had honed in on that austere, unlikely beauty in his earlier series on tract homes, but he refined his vision for the Irvine series, which focuses on the façades of windowless office blocks and electronics factories, some still in construction on barren lots, others landscaped as perfunctorily as a toll plaza....[Unlike] Ed Ruscha's genuinely artless images of apartment buildings and parking lots, Baltz's pictures are pointedly artful. The Irvine series, though (presumably) despairing of the industrial parks' cold emptiness, can't help but establish its link to minimalist painting and sculpture, particularly Donald Judd's boxes and Carl Andre's concrete blocks” (Vince Aletti, in Roth 101 Books).
pp. (108). Oblong 4to. 51 full-page photographic plates. Publisher's cloth, with dust-jacket. Slight flecking and uneven toning to dust-jacket, with crease to front flap, otherwise a good copy.