Robert Tanitch reviews the latest books
Magnum Manifesto (Thames & Hudson £45) celebrates Magnum Photos’ 75th anniversary with a fresh perspective of its legendary history and archive. Magnum, founded by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour in 1947, is revered for its artistry and integrity. Magnum is Photography and it has always handled Photography as Art and Photography as Documentary at one and the same time. Magnum, socially committed and very active, travels the globe to photograph important events. Magnum is a cooperative political exercise, full of arresting visual statements. Humane and poignant, it unfailingly tackles the relevant issues of the day and provides vital evidence.
Dronescapes The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagrams (Thames & Hudson £24.95). Here is the opportunity for professionals and hobbyists to share their work and see the world from a new and amazing perspective. The bird’s eye view of spectacular urban and natural habits can be breathtaking. See afresh Kalyazin Bell Tower, Pisa, Singapore’s marina bay, Edinburgh’s Mile, New Zealand’s Plymouth Street, Mont Saint Michel and many more. The documentation and surveillance is useful for raising important environmental issues such as pollution. The Patterns and Shadows produce some beautiful art work. The book will delight and encourage all aerial photography enthusiasts.
Ravilious & Co The Pattern of Friendship by Andy Friend (Thames & Hudson (£24.95). Eric Ravilious (1903-1942), one of the outstanding engravers of his time. His charming watercolours and the bold tonal contrasts and complex patterning in his engravings were much loved by the public but initially underestimated by the critics. This gentle, affectionate biography explores how a network of artists, friends and lovers, all holding distinctive English mid-century values, influenced each other. The collective mood was hedonism and levity. They practised Modernism through commercial art, bridging Fine Art and Design. The volume is much enhanced by over 200 illustrations.