This comprehensive book accompanies the first large retrospective exhibition of Lewis Baltz’s work following his passing in 2014. Lewis Baltz explores the artist’s oeuvre as a complex whole of interrelated series, from his first “Prototypes” and “The Tract Houses” to “Park City,” “San Quentin Point,” and “Candlestick Point” through to “New Sites of Technology” and “Venezia Marghera,” all published by Steidl. The book simultaneously locates Baltz’s work in the context of photography and contemporary art since the 1970s, to fully examine his significant influence and legacy.
Baltz is one of the most prominent representatives of the New Topographics movement, which was seminal to the development of conceptual photography. His photo series document the impact of industrial civilization on the landscape, focusing on places outside the bounds of canonical reception: urban wastelands, abandoned industrial sites, warehouses. His photographs uncover the correspondences between everyday spatial forms and the more advanced forms found in art. Baltz’s strategies reflect a deep knowledge of the history of photography and present the photographer as a teacher of seeing who visualizes the world in reductive, often ironic, gestures.
… photography, which really isn’t all that simple, has always been for me the most direct and most automatic and most uninflected way of making a visual notation of something. Lewis Baltz