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KARASU ("RAVENS"/"SOLITUDE OF RAVENS") - Rare Pristine/Plastic-Wrappered Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing
Yokohama, Japan: Sokyu-Sha Kanagawa-Ken, 1986 - 1st Printing. 132 pages. Published in 1986. Artist Book. One of the greatest art photography books of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the 1998 American Edition (entitled "Solitude of Ravens") and the 2008 Japanese Reissued Edition. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. There is no ISBN. The First Edition is now very rare. An austerely elegant production by Michitaka Ota and Kazuyuki Goto: Oversize-volume format. Black raw silk cloth boards with recessed impression of the very first raven image on both the cover and back with titles embossed on spine, as issued. Photographs by Masahisa Fukase. Afterword by Akira Hasegawa in the Japanese original and felicitous English translation. Brown hard board slipcase with black titles printed on white stock paper. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper by Toppan Printing Company Tokyo to absolutely the highest standards. In publisher's original plastic wrappers. In translucent glassine DJ, as issued. The latter is found either in damaged condition or missing altogether in most extant copies of the book. Presents, in a perfect Artist Book rendition, Masahisa Fukase's "Karasu". Some of the most lyrically beautiful images that exist in photography (or any other medium), they were taken as a form of self-therapy by Fukase, a devastated man turning to art's healing power. In the wake of his marriage's collapse, the suicidal Fukase chanced upon a picture of a flock of ravens. It captured in one vivid image his depressive state and crystallized his otherwise unbearable feelings about loneliness, suicide, and death. Fukase began to photograph ravens in snow and at night in Hokkaido. The sequence renders their black silhouettes like brushstrokes in classic Japanese "sumi-e" calligraphy. The project was to occupy Fukase for a full decade (1975-1985). His achievement has never been surpassed, not even by the artist/photographer himself (who was by then paralyzed but lived for another twenty-seven years, dying on June 9, 2012) : "Karasu" exemplifies Japanese aesthetics and her artistic tradition, the greatest in Asia, in all its delicacy, nuance, and power. An absolute "must-have" title for Masahisa Fukase collectors. This title is a modern art photography classic. This is one of very few copies of First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online, is still in the publisher's original plastic wrappers, and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. When they do turn up, copies usually have flaws, particularly the delicate glassine DJ, which is either creased, worn, and torn or missing altogether. This is it: The ultimate auction house, museum, and private collector's copy. A very rare copy thus. 62 plates. Selected as one of the greatest photography books in "The Photobook", "Karasu" was also chosen as the greatest photography book of the last 25 years by The British Journal of Photography panel of photographers, artists, and writer/critics in 2010. One of the greatest artist/photographers of the 20th century. A flawless collectible copy. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Modern Rare]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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