Alec Soth

American Photographer | Born: 1969
Alec Soth is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials. In 2008, a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work was exhibited at Jeu de Paume in Paris and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2010, the Walker Art produced a large survey exhibition of Soth’s work entitled From Here To There. Alec Soth’s first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. Since then Soth has published NIAGARA (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007) Dog Days, Bogotá (2007) The Last Days of W (2008), and Broken Manual (2010). In 2008, Soth started his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, and is a member of Magnum Photos.
Songbook
Author: Alec Soth
Publisher: Mack
Year: 2014 - Pages: 144
Known for his haunting portraits of solitary Americans in Sleeping by the Mississippi and Broken Manual, Alec Soth has recently turned his lens toward community life in the country. To aid in his search, Soth assumed the increasingly obsolescent role of community newspaper reporter. From 2012-2014, Soth traveled state by state while working on his self-published newspaper, The LBM Dispatch, as well as on assignment for the New York Times and others. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, Soth attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals and communal gatherings in search of human interaction in an era of virtual social networks. With Songbook, Soth has stripped these pictures of their news context in order to highlight the longing for connection at their root. Fragmentary, funny and sad, Songbook is a lyrical depiction of the tension between American individualism and the desire to be united. Alec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and Sao Paulo Biennials. In 2008, a survey exhibition of Soth's work was exhibited at Jeu de Paume in Paris and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. In 2010, the Walker Art Center produced a traveling survey exhibition of Soth's work entitled From Here To There. Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth founded his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, and is a member of Magnum Photos.
 
Niagara
Author: Alec Soth
Publisher: Steidl
Year: 2006 - Pages: 144
By way of follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth turns his eye to another iconic body of water, Niagara Falls. And as with his photographs of the Mississippi, these images are less about natural wonder than human desire. "I went to Niagara for the same reason as the honeymooners and suicide jumpers," says Soth, "the relentless thunder of the Falls just calls for big passion." The subject may be hot, but the pictures are quiet, the rigorously composed and richly detailed products of a large-format 8x10 camera. Working over the course of two years on both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls, Soth edited the results of his labors down to a tight and surprising album. He depicts newlyweds and naked lovers, motel parking lots, pawnshop wedding rings and love letters from the subjects he photographed. We read about teenage crushes, workplace affairs, heartbreak and suicide. Oscar Wilde wrote, "The sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life." Niagara brings viewers both the passion and the disappointment--a remarkable portrayal of modern love and its aftermath.
 
Sleeping by the Mississippi
Author: Alec Soth
Publisher: Steidl
Year: 2004 - Pages: 120
Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River, Alec Soth's Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America's iconic yet oft-neglected "third coast." Soth's richly descriptive, large-format color photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors. Sensuous in detail and raw in subject, Sleeping by the Mississippi elicits a consistent mood of loneliness, longing, and reverie. "In the book's 46 ruthlessly edited pictures," writes Anne Wilkes Tucker, "Soth alludes to illness, procreation, race, crime, learning, art, music, death, religion, redemption, politics, and cheap sex." Like Robert Frank's classic The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with a poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organizing structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust.
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

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