Prickle Jones: California Photographs, 1935-1982by Pirkle Jones, Tim B. Wride (Contribution by), Tim B. Wride
For almost sixty years Pirkle Jones has chronicled the people, politics, and landscape of Northern California-a "promised land" which has long held sway in the American cultural imagination. Within the confines of that locale, he has unearthed a universe of beauty and meaning, photographing everything from flea-market finds to some of the most important American social movements of the second half of the twentieth century. Operating primarily within a social-documentary framework, Jones has made images characterized by sensitivity and acute observation.
With uncanny prescience, a sense of urgency, and a sympathetic eye, Jones often plays the dual roles of artist and witness, combining portraiture, landscapes, and architectural photographs to create thorough documents of social structure and upheaval. Among the photo-essays included in Pirkle Jones: California Photographs are a compassionate and controversial piece on the Black Panther Party in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jones's portraits of the Sausalito houseboat community known as Gate 5, and a notable 1956 photo-essay done in collaboration with Dorothea Lange photographing the destruction and dislocation of the Berryessa Valley before it was flooded on completion of the Monticello Dam. Produced as a single issue of Aperture magazine in 1960 under the name "Death of a Valley", this essay remains a powerful testament to the price of progress.
The book also includes Jones's work from the last few decades, in which he shifted his focus to an extended series of elegant, contemplative landscapes. A biographical essay by curator Tim B. Wride frames Jones and his work within the context of photographic history, the people he collaborated with-including Ansel Adams as well as Lange-and the great scope of Californian life.
- Aperture Foundation
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- Product dimensions:
- 10.35(w) x 12.35(h) x 0.71(d)
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