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Publisher's Showcase: Punctum Books

 Rome-based Punctum Books publishes a diverse number of titles, but also has a distinct focus on Italian related works -- whether that be books by Italian photographers like Marco Delogu and Giuliano Matteucci, whose Ecclesia is a quite and powerful monograph looking at the enduring markers of colonization through missionary-erected churches in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali -- or studies of Italy itself, currently offering a group of titles on The Eternal City.

from the book Roma, Citta Di Mezzo
from the book A Question of Time
Guy Tillim's Roma, Citta Di Mezzo is a lovely accordion fold book showing modern-day Rome depicted as a living city, not an icon. Selected as a Best Book of 2009, it was also reviewed in photo-eye Magazine by Charles Dee Mitchell, which you can read here. A Question of Time investigates Rome as a place of enduring artistic inspiration, merging photographic images of days long past with images from today. The book portrays a before and after of sorts, the present living within the past as shown through a collection of photos chosen from the American Academy Photographic Archive and images of the city taken by a number of contemporary photographers. A Question of Time highlights both the shifting and lasting features of the city, but also how we choose to see it over time. Featuring photographs by Tim Davis, Marco Delogue, Veronique Ellena, Juan Fabuel, Brad Farwell, Agnes Geoffray, Graciela Iturbide, Giuliano Matteucci, Matthew Monteith, Luca Nostri, Tod Papageorge, Leonie Purchas and David Spero, the book also contains a significant number of essays presented in English and Italian.

Opera Citta by Tod Papageorge
The forthcoming Opera Citta by Tod Papageorge began with an invitation from the Commissione di Roma 2010 and some suggestions from Marco Delogu. What Papageorge came up with was unexpected -- he deviated quickly from Delogu's concept to capture different view of Rome, a closer look at details, and without grandeur typical of depictions of the city.


Quota Mille steps outside Rome, showing a world far away from the modern city, the inhabitants of the rural Matese mountains. They are sensitive pictures, showing in saturated colors a slower way of life, quite, simple and agrarian. There is something timeless about this world, though if the deeply lined faces of the subjects of these pictures is any indication, it is, perhaps, a way of life that may be aging out. Read more about Quota Mille (and Ecclesia) in our February 19th Newsletter.
from the book Quota Mille

Several other books of note: Graciela Iturbide's El Bano de Frida, spare yet emotional resonant images of the bathroom of the great painter Frida Kahlo. Pieter Hugo's Messina/Musina continues his extensive investigation of Africa, this time focusing on this native South Africa. Musina is the northernmost town in South Africa, on the border of tumultious Zimbabwe. Recently renamed Musina to correct a colonial misspelling of the name of the people who once lived in the region, Musina, like the name, is a town in transition.

Four Equestrian Studies by Marco Delogu is an interesting take on the horse and its representation in art. The double-sided book is divided into four portions. Opened from the white side, the images start with The White Studio -- striking full-body portraits taken in a white-back-dropped studio. The Black Studio images follow, intimate close-ups of the horses long faces, their bodies lost in the blackness of the background. The book shifts at the next section, The Fresco by Cavalier d'Arpino. First depicting the entire painting, each subsequent page focuses on the rendering of the horses in the battle scene, phenomenal for their expressiveness, particularly in the eyes. The book transitions again after this series of images, switching to the Bronze Horse from Vicolo delle Palme. This portion of the book can also been the beginning of the study, and features its own cover on the reverse side of the book.

from the book Four Equestrian Studies

See books published by Punctum here.

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