PHOTOGRAPHY CATALOGUE OF THE YEAR
Eiko Yamazawa: What I Am Doing
Tsukasa Ikegami and Yoshiko Suzuki, eds.
AKAAKA Art Publishing
Eiko Yamazawa’s photographic career spanned from her studies in the United States in the 1920s; through the 1930s, when she opened a commercial studio in Osaka; and into the 1970s and ’80s, when she experimented with abstract and vibrantly colored studio constructions. This catalogue accompanies her first posthumous retrospective, offering an eye-opening survey of this inventive and little-known artist. Her earlier portraits, still lifes, and studio work are beautifully presented on uncoated papers, while the more vibrantly colored later work is featured on coated stock, a decision that underscores the range of Yamazawa’s practice. For those just learning about her work, ample curatorial commentary and contextualizing texts are provided, including three brief texts by Yamazawa herself. “The reader’s first response is bound to be one of pure visual pleasure,” notes juror Lesley Martin. “However, the reexamination of the life and work of an artist like Yamazawa—who chose her own path, often against the prevailing stylistic trends of Japanese photography—is a large part of the intellectual pleasure of a book like this.”