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The Blue Room

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Fragility of Human Life

    For those who have followed the socially committed life and work of Eugene Richards, THE BLUE ROOM will serve as an infusion of joy. Long respected for his documentation of the 'atrocities of living' such as aging, poverty, drug addiction, death, cancer and mental illness, in this elegantly beautiful volume Richards offers some of the most achingly tender views of relics of human detritus.

    Focusing on the Midwestern states of Kansas, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas and into the regions of New Mexico, Richards pauses at deserted homes and areas where life has stopped - areas where drought, the Great Depression, quashed dreams, and other misfortunes have left grave stones of sad history. Each color photograph is respectfully given a full page bleed, resting opposite and empty white facing page, a design technique very much in keeping with the vision of Eugene Richards in asking the reader/viewer to pause and pay respects and remember before passing on to the next little masterpiece.

    This is a monograph of superb photographs by an artist who has made his life's mission one of asking for attention to the fault lines in our country. It is exquisitely beautiful art, but it is also powerful social commentary. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

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